Marina Machans beat Pune 1-0
Chennai: Chennaiyin FC went temporarily top of the Indian Super League (ISL) standings after a 1-0 win over FC Pune City at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Chennai on Saturday night. In what was a dramatic game which saw Rene Mihelic miss a penalty, Gregory Nelson scored the winner for the South Indian side in the 80th minute.
Chennaiyin FC went into the game with three changes from their previous game against Delhi Dynamos. Henrique Sereno, Thoi Singh and Bikramjit Singh came into the team with Rene Mihelic continuing to be preferred over Raphael Augusto.
FC Pune City opted to deploy Adil Khan, who has impressed in midfield so far, at right-back while Rohit Kumar came into the midfield. Diego Carlos came into the side to replace the suspended Marcelinho.
The home team almost forced an early chance when Bikramjit sent in a long ball for Jeje to latch on to. However, Adil Khan got back to block his shot for a corner.
At the other end, Emiliano Alfaro created two lovely openings for Carlos and Ashique Kuruniyan but both went begging. Carlos was sent clear but Karanjit's outstretched leg foiled him while Ashique could only prod his delightful ball from the left agonisingly wide.
In the 12th minute, Jonatan Lucca picked out Diego Carlos free on the left wing. He entered the area and a curling shot crashing against the crossbar as the Chennaiyin defence looked rattled.
Though it was all Pune, Chennaiyin were literally gifted a penalty in the 25th minute when Jeje sent Nelson through into the Pune penalty box. But Adil Khan's shoulder barge on Nelson was harshly deemed to be a penalty by referee Raktim Saha.
Unfortunately for the home team, Mihelic's tame grounder was palmed away by Vishal Kaith.
Pune kept on attacking, with Diego Carlos enjoying a good run down the left wing. He forced Karanjit into a save and later on forced Sereno into a block after surging into the area. But a goal eluded him as both teams went into the break level.