FC Pune City go top of table

Amol Gokhale
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

With the win over opponents Jamshedpur FC, hosts Pune now have 22 points from 12 outings

Pune: The meanest defence in the Indian Super League (ISL) managed to keep the league’s most lethal attack on home turf at bay for an hour, but conceded two goals in space of four minutes to send the home side to the top of the ISL table.

Inspired by skipper Marcelinho, FC Pune City turned over one-goal deficit to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Jamshedpur FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
FC Pune City’s head coach, who returned to the touchline after serving a four-game ban, made two half-time substitutions to change the course of the game in Pune’s favour as Gurtej Singh (62nd) and Elimiano Alfaro (66th) guided Pune home.

In a largely uninspiring first half, where none of the sides managed to press the issue. But the visitors took the lead in the 30th minute after a mistake by keeper Vishal Kaith and defender Sahil Panwar, as Wellington Priori put the ball in the back of the net, as hosts trailed 1-0 at the breather.

But the hosts turned the tables in the second-half in typical fashion with new signing Marko Stankovic influencing the game. In the 62nd minute, Pune earned themselves a corner, which was taken by Marcelinho, where defender Gurtej rose above everyone else to find the back of the net and restore the parity.

Four minutes later, Pune took the lead when Stankovic found Marcelinho, who cut back the ball for Alfaro, to tap the ball in as the Uruguayan ended his four-match goal drought.

As the clock ticked down, tempers started to flare up, but Pune managed to hold onto the lead, the crowd grew restless chanting ‘referee joker’ with every stoppage, but FC Pune City with 22 points against their name, moved top of the table.

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