Delhi Dynamos defeat FC Pune City 3-2 in opening game of ISL
Pune: Delhi Dynamos registered a 3-2 win away at FC Pune City as they became the third side to register all three points in the opening round of the 2017/18 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune on Wednesday.
Paulinho Dias (46'), Lallianzuala Chhangte (54') and Matias Mirabaje (65') scored for the visitors. Emiliano Alfaro (67') and Marcos Tebar (90+4') added to the home side's score.
The side from Maharashtra started in a 4-3-2-1 formation with proven ISL stars Marcelinho and Emiliano Alfaro headlining the attack. Marcos Tebar and Jonatan Lucca featured in the midfield while Kean Lewis was benched. Goalkeeper Vishal Kaith, Pune's only retained player was not even included in the matchday squad.
While Albino Gomes was in between the sticks for the visitors in a 4-4-2 formation, Matias Mirabaje started just behind Kalu Uche. Pritam Kotal, Vinit Rai and Lallianzuala Chhangte all found places in Miguel Angel Portugal's scheme of plans.
As soon as the referee blew the whistle for kick-off, the hosts were compelled to make a change as Jewel Raja Shaikh pulled up with a groin injury he picked up during warm-up. Baljit Sahni was brought in as a substitute with almost the whole game left to play.
Packed with ISL returnees, Pune City had little imagination going forward with Emiliano Alfaro getting into good positions but there was almost no quality in deliveries sent in by his teammates. Delhi left open spaces at the back but Ranko Popovic's side were unable to create any danger from their side.
Delhi Dynamos had the lion's share of possession but they played much of their game in the midfield. Skipper Kalu Uche went practically absent in the first half but Lallianzuala Chhangte and Pritam Kotal impressed in parts.
Chhangte immediately converted the momentum into a world-class cross which led to the opening goal within the first minute of resumption of play in the second half. Paulinho Dias got ahead of Uche and directed the ball in for the Lions' first goal of the season.
The Mizoram-born youngster got himself a goal barely ten minutes later as he ran into space and chipped the ball home with only the 'keeper to beat. Pune were suddenly two goals down with only thirty-five minutes left on the clock.
Uruguayan Matias Mirabaje made matters worse for the home side when he cut in from the right and swung in a deadly ball from 18 yards, beating an outstretched Kamaljit to make it 3-0 for the visitors.
Mirabaje's compatriot in the other team answered two minutes later as Emiliano Alfaro scored two minutes later, ensuring Albino Gomes would not have been able to keep a clean sheet on the night.