The Indian Super League has moved into an interesting phase, where teams will look to produce positive results in their remaining fixtures to qualify for the semis. FC Pune did the same as they defeated the 2014 champions Atletico de Kolkata at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Sunday.
With more than 9,000 fans rooting for the home team, the FC Pune players did not disappoint their supporters putting up an impressive game to register their first win at home. Eduardo Ferreira and Anibal Rodriguez scored the goals for Pune, while Ian Hume found the back of the net for Kolkata.
As expected, the game was a tight affair with both teams looking for that early lead. The first thirty minutes of the game produced some chances for both the teams, but they could not score. However, FC Pune managed to take lead with a brilliant header from Ferreira after a perfect delivery from Jonatan Lucca.
The home team were a happier lot after taking that lead going into the half time. And just when one thought the Atletico would make the match interesting by scoring the equaliser, they suffered a major setback as Pune doubled their lead just 11 minutes into the second half.
Pune were awarded a penalty kick, which was slotted home by Rodriguez, who was excited with his second goal of the competition. The player was fortunate as the penalty was nearly saved by the goalkeeper.
"I tried to hit the ball with power and the goalkeeper almost saved it but luckily it went into the goal. It feels great and we need to continue winning to qualify for the semis," ISL official website quoted the second goal-scorer as saying.
Hume got the visitors back into the game via another penalty. The Canadian striker's shot was immediately saved by goalkeeper Apoula Edel Bete, but Hume reacted quickly to the rebound to make sure it ended at the back of the net.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, Kolkata gave it a good shot to, at least, to secure a point from the match, but the feisty contest resulted in the home team's favour. Kolkata's marquee player Helder Postiga felt they deserved a point from the game, and understands the need to keep fighting for a place in the top four.
"I think we could have got a point and we played much better in the second half than compared to the first half, but now we have just got to keep fighting and aim to qualify for the semis," Postiga said.