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ISL: Delhi Dynamos host FC Pune City, look for season-ending high to torrid campaign

Delhi Dynamos will look to end their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign on a high when they host FC Pune City at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Friday.

football Updated: Mar 01, 2018 18:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian Super League,ISL,Delhi Dynamos
Delhi Dynamos take on FC Pune City in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday. (ISL / SPORTZPICS)

It has been nothing short of a nightmare for Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season. The club from the national capital went into a six-game losing streak after opening their campaign with a 3-2 away win over FC Pune City and bowed out of the race for the play-offs well before the end of the regular season.

However, with some improved performances in their last few games, Dynamos have managed to salvage some pride from their horror campaign.

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The Miguel Angel Portugal-coached side hasn’t lost its last five games, winning three and drawing two.

Dynamos’ last two wins have been the most impressive of their season. Against ATK, they came back from 1-3 down to win 4-3.

On Tuesday, Dynamos handed Mumbai City a 5-1 thrashing, knocking the latter out of play-off contention in the process.

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Head coach Portugal said the team will be playing to be ‘happy’.

“The mood in the team is very good after the wins. But now we need to play again to win. We’ll be playing to be happy. Pune needs to win the game,” he told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

Opponents Pune City, on the other hand, have been one of the better sides in the league this season. With 29 points from 17 games, Ranko Popovic’s side is assured of a play-off spot.

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However, with league toppers Bengaluru FC in fine fettle, Pune will hope to avoid the two-time I-League champions in the semis. To do so, they will need to cement a top-three finish in the league, and a win in Delhi on Thursday will see them achieve the same.

After a confidence-sapping 4-0 pounding at home at the hands of FC Goa in their last game, Pune, however, will need to come up with an improved showing against Dynamos.

“We have to show (that the) last game (was) just an accident. The problem is not when you lose, the problem is when you show no desire to win and that’s what happened to us in the last game,” Popovic said on the eve of the match.

First Published: Mar 01, 2018 18:11 IST