FC Pune City Salvage Draw Against Kolkata

After a series of away games, FC Pune City are back in their fortress. Around 8500 Punekars gathered at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports complex to witness their home side FC Pune City battle it out for a place in the top 4 against second-placed Atletico de Kolkata. In a tight contest, the home side showed great character by holding Kolkata to a 1-1 draw. Abhilash Guttedar from Sports Rediscovered was there to capture live action from the stadium and to speak to the fans. Here is a ringside view.

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Pune and Kolkata fans enter the Football arena. Image by Sports Rediscovered

First Half- Podany Nets Early To Put FC Pune City Under Pressure:

As the game kicked off, the visitors looked more organized as they managed to steal the ball from the Pune midfielders on several occasions. FC Pune City lacked firepower in their forward line as they were playing without marquee player David Trezeguet. In the 11th minute, Luis Garcia was unmarked and received a pass on the right flank. After a couple of touches, he flighted in a cross which was directed to the second pole. Czech striker Yakub Podany timed his jump to perfection and headed the ball in the top left corner of the goal to send the Kolkata fans into a frenzy.

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ATK’s Jakub Podany is congratulated by teammates after scoring the first goal. Image courtesy: ISL website

Kostas Finds The Equaliser:

It was time to regroup and attack with more intent for FC Pune City. Backed by the endless support of the home crowd, Franco Colomba’s boys attacked upfront and made threatening runs deep into the danger area. Mehrajuddin Wadoo was at his best last night as he covered the length and breadth of the ground effortlessly. He assisted the strikers and played a major role in keeping Kolkata’s star forward Fikru Teferra shackled along with fellow teammates Bruno Cirillo and Ravanan. The home side’s persistence finally bore fruit when Kostas charged in and drilled in a first time shot into the bottom left corner of the goal to light up the crowd just before close of play.

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FC Pune City players celebrate after Kostas scored the equaliser. Image courtesy: ISL website.

Second Half- FC Pune City Continue To Attack:

Just 10 minutes into the second half and Kostas had another opportunity to have a go at the goal. He went for a well directed shot at the goal but was denied by Atletico de Kolkata’s stand-in keeper Edel Apoula Bete. The Armenian goalie had an amazing night under the crossbar as he pulled off some stunning saves.

It was end to end football in the remainder of the match. FC Pune City looked more dangerous as they launched repeated counterattacks at the opponent’s goal. The home side’s latest recruit Jermaine Pennant was effective as a right winger and kept the Kolkata defenders busy. No goals were scored in the second half and the game ended in a goalless draw.

The League Table:

Kolkata will be happy to walk away with a point as they stay at the second spot with 17 points from 11 games. They will face Delhi Dynamos on December 2. FC Pune City are seventh on the table and they have to win their remaining games in order to stay in contention for the top 4. They will host Mumbai City FC in the second leg of the Maharashtra Derby on December 3.

Fan Quotes:

“I am a die hard Ronaldo fan and I’m very happy that the ISL has come into existence. I want to see a player like Ronaldo from our country. Today we are 8400, in the years to come, the attendance will surely increase.”- Deven Amode.

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Suraj and Deven- the fans

“First of all, I would like to congratulate the organizers of the ISL as it is a great initiative. People in India are getting good exposure of Indian and international players and through this league, they can learn a lot more. I want FC Goa to win.”- Suraj Rajendran.




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