Sports Football 11 Feb 2018 ISL 2017-18: Marceli ...

ISL 2017-18: Marcelinho-led Pune deal major blow to Mumbai's playoff hopes in derby

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NICOLAI NAYAK
Published Feb 11, 2018, 9:08 pm IST
Updated Feb 11, 2018, 9:08 pm IST
Another away victory saw the Orange Army consolidate their position at the second place, whereas Mumbai City slipped to seventh place.
FC Pune City's Marcelinho celebrates after scoring a goal during a league encounter against Mumbai City FC on Sunday. (Photo: ISL Media)
 FC Pune City's Marcelinho celebrates after scoring a goal during a league encounter against Mumbai City FC on Sunday. (Photo: ISL Media)

Mumbai: FC Pune City boosted their hopes of qualifying for the Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 playoffs with a resounding 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Sunday.

Having ended up on the winning side during the last meeting, the Stallions completed a double over their neighbours and delivered a huge blow to Mumbai's qualification hopes.

 

The visitors signalled their intent early on, constantly launching raids in the opposition box but couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Their hard work soon bore fruit during the 22nd minute after Raju Gaikwad poked the ball in his own net.

Sarthak Goloui, who was found free on the right, whipped in a dangerous cross into the path of Diego Carlos who missed his header by inches only to see the Mumbai defender commit a blunder.

However, Alexandre Guimaraes’ men did not lose hope, as they pushed for the equalizer but were denied by a well-oiled Stallions unit.

 

During the 32nd minute, after an Achille Emana corner deflected off the wall, Sanju Pradhan tested Vishal Kaith with a fierce shot 25-yards-out but the Pune custodian pulled off a fine save.

Mumbai grew in confidence after the break, getting bodies forward through some neat link-up play between Balwant Singh and Thiago Santos. Despite the Pune defence looking vulnerable, Kaith once again stood up to the task and saved his side the blushes.

The men in purple and orange were on the same page, breaking on the counter-attack but wasteful in the final third.

 

As a flurry of chances threw up on both sides, Marcelinho Pereira put the game to bed with a sharp finish just before stoppage time to send the crowd into a frenzy.

Substitute Jonathan Lucca played the Brazilian striker on the right, who cleverly baffled Gaikwad to make space and slotted the ball past Amrinder Singh with an audacious dink.

Another away victory saw the Orange Army consolidate their position at the second place, cutting the gap between leaders Bengaluru FC by five points. Mumbai, meanwhile, continue to languish at the seventh spot.

 

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