Indian Super League: Marcelinho scores as FC Pune City down Mumbai City FC 2-0
Marcelinho was on the scoresheet as FC Pune City defeated Mumbai City FC 2-0 in the Indian Super League on Sundayfootball Updated: Feb 12, 2018 10:31 IST
Mumbai City FC manager Alexandre Guimaraes had stressed upon the importance of converting opportunities. But his team’s indecisive finishing cost them as FC Pune City beat them 2-0 in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.
Mumbai City defender Raju Gaikwad scored an own goal in the first half before FC Pune City talisman Marcelinho scored his eighth goal of the campaign, seal the Maharashtra derby deep in the second half.
The win keeps FC Pune City second in the table with 28 points, three points ahead of third-placed Jamshedpur FC. Mumbai City suffered their fourth consecutive defeat at home and continue to languish at seventh. Their hope of finishing in the top four is no longer in their hands.
Guimaraes brought in Gaikwad to replace the experienced Mehrajuddin Wadoo after the defeat to Jamshedpur FC, and that cost them. For FC Pune City, coach Ranko Popovic, who returned to the sideline after being banned in the 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC, brought in wing-back Sarthak Goloui and midfielder Marko Stankovic -- with both playing pivotal roles in the opening goal.
FC Pune City’s frontline that has managed to score in all but two games this season, began on the front foot. Marcelinho could have got himself a hat-trick in the opening 20 minutes, but could not finish.
Sahil Panwar wonderfully played in Marcelinho, who controlled well only to be forced on to his weaker foot by Mumbai City skipper Gerson Vieira. He shot into the side netting. Moments later, Stankovic found the Brazilian, who again failed to get the better of Vieira and take an accurate shot.
Defensive midfielder Adil Khan dinked it forward to put through Marcelinho soon after, but Pune City’s top-scorer failed to hit the target with a left-foot drive.
But just a minute later, in the 18th minute, Pune City’s intricate passing game paid off. Stankovic played it wide to Goloui, whose dangerous cross from the right took a touch off Diego Carlos’ head before ricocheting off Gaikwad’s knee into the net.
Mumbai City responded, creating several opportunities, but were let down by their final touch. Achille Emana got past three Pune players to enter the box before sending a low cross. Everton Santos, who did well to get there, could not keep it on target.
Minutes later, Sanju Pradhan unleashed a vicious volley from 25 yards out. But FC Pune City custodian, Vishal Kaith, was up to the task.
Emana lofted in a long ball to the far post to find Balwant Singh shortly after restart, but the striker could not keep his header down. In the 72nd minute, Emana found Balwant again with a cut back, but with only the keeper to beat, his meek effort was parried by Kaith and fell to Thiago Santos, who shot wide.
Marcelinho finally got his goal in the 83rd minute. Substitute Jonathan Lucca selflessly played it wide to the 30-year-old, who curled it past Amrinder Singh into the bottom left corner to take Pune City a step closer to the play-offs.