Millennium Post

Pune City take down Mumbai City 2-1 in ISL IV

Pune: FC Pune City beat Mumbai City 2-1 in the season's first Maharashtra Derby in Pune on Wednesday. The home side bagged full three points from a dramatic encounter. Balwant Singh gave Mumbai the lead in the 15th minute but Emiliano Alfaro's brace in second half gifted Pune an emphatic win.

Alexandre Guimaraes and Ranko Popovic fielded unchanged starting XIs as they did not want to change the winning combination. While Mumbai picked their first win of the season against FC Goa in their previous match, Pune had thrashed defending champions ATK 4-1 in Kolkata.
The home side shaped up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Marcelinho operating in a free role just behind lone striker Emiliano Alfaro. Guimaraes fielded Mumbai in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Everton Santos playing in front of Balwant Singh, Sanju Pradhan and Achille Emana. Avinash Ruidas continued in his new left back position.
Mumbai commanded the proceedings in the opening minutes of the game with Pune taking a safe approach, exactly how they played against ATK in the previous match. The trio of Balwant, Santos and Emana imposed constant threat on the Pune defence.
Mumbai's positive outlook got them the opening goal of the match within 15 minutes. Balwant received a long ball on the left flank. He cut in and launched a curling shot which went straight into the goal beating Kamaljit Singh.
After conceding Pune came back into the game strongly and attacked with greater intensity. Diego Carlos, Marcelinho and Alfaro looked desperate for an equaliser.
Just minutes before the half time, Marcelinho pulled off a two-footed challenge on Everton Santos but surprisingly the referee ignored the incident.
Pune once again started dominating the proceedings as the second half resumed. At the 54th minute Marcelinho dribbled past two defenders on the right flank and launched a cross for Alfaro. Unfortunately, the Uruguayan striker could not get his timing right and failed to reach. The wonderful move was wasted.
Popovic brought in Kean Lewis at the hour mark in place of defensive midfielder Marcos Tebar. It clearly indicated that the Serbian coach wanted a more attacking approach to the game. Since Lewis introduction, the home team completely dominated the game and launched a series of attacks in front of the Mumbai goal.
Pune finally got a chance to equalise in the 72nd minute when Raju Gaikwad clipped Diego Santos' legs inside the box. Referee Raktim Saha promptly pointed towards the penalty spot. Alfaro calmly found the net to restore parity in the game.

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