FC Pune City, ATK play out 2-2 draw

Amol Gokhale
Monday, 11 February 2019

They were chants, as Pune took an early lead through John Johnson’s 17th-minute own-goal, also an appreciation for Jayesh Rane’s curling and eye-pleasing equaliser in the 23rd-minute equaliser.

PUNE: The crowd at the Balewadi Sports Complex for the Indian Super League (ISL) season 5 match between FC Pune City and ATK was sparse on Sunday night. But the way the crowd reacts is an easy indicator of the way how the match panned out.

They were chants, as Pune took an early lead through John Johnson’s 17th-minute own-goal, also an appreciation for Jayesh Rane’s curling and eye-pleasing equaliser in the 23rd-minute equaliser.

There were jeers as ATK were awarded a penalty on the hour mark for a harsh penalty, and the people in the stands were roaring when Robin Singhs thumping header in the 76th-minute brought the Stallions on the level terms. The decibel levels were turned up by at least a notch as FC Pune City’s Kamaljit Singh and ATK’s Arindim Bhattacharia kept their respective sides in the game with few acrobatic saves in the closing stages.

The final scoreline of 2-2 doesn’t do any favours to either sides in their bid to reach the last four, as  Pune remained in the seventh position in the table with the tally of 15 points from 14 games, 9 points off the top four, while ATK stay a place above on 21, having played a game more.

CLOSE CALLS
Both the sides will feel that they should’ve walked away with full points, considering the ball went past the posts on numerous occasions, but the highlight of the game was Jayesh Rane’s equaliser in the 23rd  minute.

ATK’s Englishman Johnson found Edu Garcia in space and the latter released Rane down the left flank, where he darted past Pune’s Sarthak Goloui, who was playing on the right side of the back three. He then cut on his right foot, entered the 18-yard-box and curled a beautiful shot into the far top corner, leaving diving Kamaljit no chance of making a save.

Nine minutes earlier, Pune had taken the lead when Marko Stankovic’s first time shot from just outside the box took a wicked deflection off Johnson, wrongfooting Bhattacharia, as the teams went into the break locked at 1-1.

Edu Garcia gave the visitors lead in the 61st minute when he calmly dispatched a penalty awarded for a handball by Diego Carlos before Robin Singh’s first goal in 14 months, a bullet header from Marcelinho’s corner earned Pune a point.

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