FULL-TIME: FC Pune City 1-3 Delhi Dynamos FC
FC Pune City: 23′ Nikhil Poojari; 93′ RED CARD (Marcelinho, Second Yellow).
Delhi Dynamos FC: 17′ L. Chhangte (Assist: R. Fernandes); 29′ R. Fernandes; 52′ Daniel L.
The Indian players shone brightly for Delhi Dynamos as they outclassed Pune City to extend their unbeaten streak at the Balewadi.
Both teams were going into this game on the back of some good results. FC Pune City were undefeated in the last six out of which they had picked up four wins. Delhi were on an equally good run of form – unbeaten in five out of which they had won three.
Delhi started the game keeping possession well and played some good passes into runners on the flanks. The midfielder Vinit Rai was exceptional tonight and excelled in distribution. Romeo Fernandes who was restricted to a bit-part role this season was a constant menace on the right wing.
It was the winger from Goa who helped Delhi take the lead with a pinpoint cross from the right flank to Chhangte who was making a run in the box. Chhangte just had to connect with his left foot on the volley and he did just that to put the ball in the back of the net.
Six minutes later, Nikhil Poojari got on the score sheet for Pune to level the scores. Coming in from the right, he cut inside and scored with a beautiful left-footed shot from just outside the box.
Delhi continued with their progressive play and took the lead once again as the first half continued to enthrall. Romeo Fernandes took a punt from the right flank – the ball deflected off the Pune defender Sahil Panwar and looped into the net with the keeper off his line.
After the resumption of the second half, Delhi doubled their lead within a few minutes. Some slick intricate play in and around the box saw Ulises Davila take a shot on goal. His attempt was pawed by Kamaljit Singh into the path of Daniel Lalhlimpuia who bundled the ball into the net.
As the running sum graph indicates, Pune did little to find their way back as the game ended in a defeat for them. They had a couple of half-chances fall to the forwards Hume and Robin Singh, but nothing came off it. Marcelinho was not at his best tonight – he doesn’t feature among the top shooters or creators where he is usually a stock fixture for Pune. Instead, he got himself sent off again after returning from a suspension. If his disciplinary record wasn’t as atrocious this season, maybe Pune would’ve been higher up the table.
Delhi were rampant tonight and deserved to win. Their team xG of 1.73 is five times as much as Pune and they had 20 plus attempts on goal. Delhi will travel to Kolkata next to meet ATK in their final league encounter – win against ATK and they have a chance to qualify for the Super Cup.
Pune City will host Mumbai City in their last league match. But they will have to rely on Delhi beating ATK and they themselves have to win against a strong Mumbai City FC to secure qualification for the Super Cup.