Pune, Oct 9 (IANS) FC Pune City made their way to the top of the Indian Super League (ISL) Season Two points table with a 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Friday.
Zohmingliana Ralte’s own goal in the 73rd minute was good enough to hand the hosts their second consecutive victory after beating Mumbai City FC in their opening match. Pune now have six points from two games.
English coach David Platt made a couple of changes to Pune’s starting XI by including Fanai Lalrepuia and Dharmaraj Ravanan. Adrian Mutu made his way into the starting line up alongside Yendrick Ruiz. Tuncay Sanli, who the hero of the last game against Mumbai, was left out. On the other hand, John Abraham owned NorthEast came up with a 4-3-3 formation.
Their coach Cesar Farias made as many five changes to the side after their opening loss to Kerala with Gennaro Bracigliano, Sanju Pradhan, Francis Dadzie, Zogmingliana Ralte and Raju Yumnam starting for the visitors.
The game got off to a positive start with both sides using their strengths to good effect to go into full attacking mode. But it were the home side who were a step ahead. In the 27th minute, NorthEast came hard at the Pune defence to create their best chance. Nicolas Velez got himself in front of a lucky rebound off Ravanan’s legs and sped off towards goal.
His set-up, however, had too much pace on it for the people in the box to and his squared pass went well wide. The start of the second half saw the home side pressing hard to go ahead while the visitors’ defence was strong enough to not allow them the upper hand.
As the minutes went past, both teams managed to create chances, but failed to turn it into fruitful results until a corner from Lalrempuia saw Ralte send the ball past his own keeper.
NorthEast looked to counter attack, but the Pune defence was strong enough to block them. Pune next face Delhi Dynamos FC at home on October 14 while NorthEast also have a home match against FC Goa on October 15.