MARGAO, Dec 23: FC Pune City stormed into fourth place after a stunning 2-0 win over table-toppers FC Goa in the Indian Super League (ISL) here today.
By dishing out another impressive counter-attacking performance, they snapped the home side’s streak of three consecutive wins.
It looked like both teams would cancel each other out until the 72nd minute when Marcelinho threaded a pass forward for Emiliano Alfaro, who clinically buried it past Laxmikant Kattimani. Alfaro had a chance to double the lead two minutes later but his shot didn’t have enough pace and was cleared away.
However, Pune finally had their second goal in the 84th minute when Jonatan Lucca gleefully converted after Mandar Rao Dessai’s clearance deflected into his path.
Despite having the better first half, Pune had to work hard and dig deep at times with Goa coming at them in full force in the second period. This was exemplified with Vishal Kaith’s triple save in the 70th minute, when he saved shots from Ferran Corominas, Brandon Fernandes and Manuel Arana as chaos ensued in the Pune box.
Apart from setting up the first goal, Marcelinho was heavily involved in the game, his swept effort and a ballooned shot coming seconds apart from each other in the 50th minute. But he was also in the middle of a penalty shout which the referee waved away.
But while they have the attacking verve, Pune won this game on the merit of sitting deep and defending smartly.
They had to soak in a lot of pressure in the first 10 minutes of the match after Mandar and Brandon both got into dangerous areas. – PTI