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FC Pune City

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ISL: Pune get another win, and revenge on Goa

Pune, Dec 11: FC Pune City continued with their resurgence as they produced a spirited display to register a 2-0 win over FC Goa in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium here on Tuesday.

A terrific striker from Marcelinho in the 74th minute and a late penalty from Marko Stankovic (90+4′) separated the two sides as Pune kept consecutive clean sheets.

With only one point from three previous games, FC Goa’s struggles after the international break in November continued and they find themselves in the fourth spot with 17 points.

Pune, meanwhile, have climbed to the seventh spot with their second consecutive win, and more importantly avenged their 2-4 hammering in Goa when interim coach Pradyum Reddy had just taken charge.

Goa dominated possession in the early stages of the game as Pune willingly dropped deep and set themselves up for quick counters. Hugo Boumous initiated a good move in the 12th minute as he picked out Seriton Fernandes’ run on the right flank.

The full-back returned the favour with a cross into the centre but Boumous, who got on the end of it, sent his effort wide.

Pune had an excellent chance to take the lead in the 17th minute when Iain Hume’s long diagonal over the top for Marcelinho caught Goa’s defence off-guard. Seriton tracked back and nicked the ball off the Brazilian with a last-ditch tackle.

With the match turning out to be an end-to-end affair, Goa threatened again in the 22nd minute. Edu Bedia’s lob allowed Brandon Fernandes to dribble into the box and force a good save from Kamaljit Singh.

With three minutes left for the end of the first half, Mandar Rao Dessai’s cut-back from the left found Ferran Corominas in the centre of the box and the forward laid the ball off for Edu to send a powerful effort that hit the crossbar.

Goa pulled the strings again after the break but Pune had no plans to sit back despite Goa’s dominance. In the 55th minute, Ashique Kuruniyan sneaked towards the byline and chipped a good cross for Nim Dorjee Tamang whose close-range header was parried away by Mohammad Nawaz.

Ahmed Jahouh took it upon himself to take the Pune defence out of the equation with a swerving strike from outside the box in the 70th minute but Kamaljit produced an exceptional save to tip the ball away.

A minute later, Mourtada Fall’s failure to clear the ball allowed Marcelinho to dribble into the box at the other end but the Brazilian forward’s shot was brilliantly saved by Nawaz.

The Brazilian worked his magic to give Pune the lead in the 74th minute. Sarthak Golui’s pass found Marcelinho in space outside the box and the latter unleashed a beautiful curling strike that kissed the back of the net.

Jahouh hit the post with a similarly outstanding effort at the other end two minutes later as Goa sought an equaliser.

Despite Goa pouring forward in attack, Pune held them off well and won a penalty late on when Marko Stankovic was held by Mohammed Ali. The midfielder stepped up and converted from 12 yards to seal a hard-fought victory for Pune City.

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ISL: Kerala’s hopes hanging by a thread after Pune defeat

Kochi, Dec 8: Kerala Blasters FC’s dry run at home in the Indian Super League (ISL) continued but this time it got worse as they were handed a 1-0 defeat by FC Pune City at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.

Kerala have been winless at home this season and have not picked up full points since their opening round win against ATK.

Fans have been hoping there would be a turnaround but instead it were Pune City who registered only their second win of the campaign.

The only goal of the match came in the 20th minute from Marcelinho. The win takes Pune to eighth spot and are now only a point off Kerala who remain a spot above. Blasters are winless in 10 games now.

After a nervy start, the match sprang to life in the seventh minute when Robin Singh placed the ball on a platter for Marcelinho off Nim Dorjee Tamang’s forward pass.

With Anas Edathodika dragged out of position, the Brazilian forward charged into space and had just the goalkeeper to beat from inside the box. Dheeraj Singh closed down the angle and pulled off a terrific reflex save to deny Pune an early lead.

Kerala threatened at the other end a minute later. After a crisp interchange of passes between Sahal Samad and Courage Pekuson on the edge of the box, the latter picked out Slavisa Stojanovic’s run behind the defence with a delightful lob which the striker failed to connect with his outstretched right leg.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 20th minute through a deflected effort from Marcelinho. Ashique Kuruniyan cut inside from the left flank and fed the forward with a through-ball into the box.

Marcelinho’s shot took a wicked deflection off Anas’ legs and found the bottom right corner.

Kerala saw a lot of the ball for the rest of the half as they battled to find an equaliser. However, Pune’s defence looked unusually solid as they kept the home side at bay.

The home side upped the ante after the restart and restricted the visitors to efforts from outside the box. One such shot by Marko Stankovic, however, flew inches wide of the post in the 59th minute.

The ever-present Sahal went close from Zakeer’s corner-kick a few minutes later. The delivery was headed just wide at the near post by the Kerala-born youngster.

Kerala had made a habit of getting equalisers late in the game but this time, it was not to be as Kamaljit Singh came up with a splendid save off a Jhingan header, while Vineeth hit the post to cap off a frustrating night for David James’ side.

ISL: NorthEast United FC defeat FC Pune City 2-0
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ISL: NorthEast United FC defeat FC Pune City 2-0

Pune, Nov 27: NorthEast United FC got the better of FC Pune City 2-0 in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here on Tuesday.

Bartholomew Ogbeche and Juan Mascia scored a goal each to seal three points for the visitors, who have continued their unbeaten run away from home and climbed to the second spot on the league table with 17 points from eight matches.

Meanwhile, Ogbeche has equalled Ferran Corominas’ tally of eight goals in the race for the Golden Boot.

FC Pune City, who started the match with four foreign players, created plenty of chances to score but failed to beat NorthEast United custodian Pawan Kumar.

NorthEast United broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when Federico Gallego’s flat corner-kick reached Ogbeche at the far post. The striker chested it down and placed the ball into the net to score his eighth goal of the season.

Pune soon stepped up their efforts and were almost rewarded in the 41st minute when Marcelinho’s free-kick from the left found Matt Mills inside the box. The defender rose highest and was denied by Pawan, who pulled off an outstanding save.

Pune started the second half just like they ended the first. They pressed for an equaliser but a resilient NorthEast United backline stood firm to keep the scores level.

Juan Mascia dribbled into the box from the right and was brought down by Sahil Panwar in the 90th minute. The forward stepped up and converted from 12 yards to seal the win for NorthEast United.

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ISL: Jamshedpur tastes first defeat of season vs Pune

Pune, Nov 21: FC Pune City ended their winless streak in the ongoing edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) with a hard-fought 2-1 win against Jamshedpur FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here on Wednesday.

Diego Carlos scored as early as the fifth minute for Pune but the early lead was cancelled out by Sumeet Passi in the 10th minute. An end-to-end contest produced a match-winner in the 86th minute when Matt Mills gave Pune the much-needed three points.

The win lifted Pune from the foot of the table into eighth position with five points from eight matches. Jamshedpur, on the other hand, tasted defeat for the first time and are fourth with 11 points from eight matches.

Pune struck the first blow five minutes into the match when Diego Carlos was allowed to run at the Jamshedpur defence from the halfway line. The Brazilian scored on his return from a three-match suspension with a neat finish from outside the box.

In the eighth minute, a long ball was flicked into the box for Sumeet Passi by Tiri but the Indian striker’s shot from close range was kept out by Pune custodian Kamaljit Singh. At the other end, Marcelinho’s dipping strike from the edge of the box was kept out by Paul.

Passi was afforded another chance to score two minutes later when Carlos Calvo found him unmarked in the centre of the box. This time the Indian striker found the net with a crisp header to pull the visitors level.

The hosts threatened to regain their lead when Ashique Kuruniyan thundered a half-volley from outside the box but his ferocious shot ricocheted off the crossbar.

Both sides were off their blocks quickly in search of a go-ahead goal after the break as Robin Singh and Jerry Mawihmingthanga saw their efforts fly wide of goal.

Jamshedpur kept pressing and were afforded another chance when Jerry was allowed space to dribble to the byline. But Kamaljit parried away the winger’s dangerous cross before the forwards could pounce.

At the other end, Robin spurned a glorious chance after the hour mark when Ashique made a rampaging run down the right and picked him out with a cross. The striker, however, headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

Ashutosh Mehta, on an overlapping run from the right flank, failed to control Marko Stankovic’s delightful lob into the box while the impressive Carlos Calvo saw an effort fizz over the bar at the other end as both sides searched for a match-winner.

Pune’s efforts bore fruit in the 86th minute through a Marko Stankovic corner-kick from the right. Matt Mills met the delivery inside the box and directed a powerful header into the net to hand Jamshedpur FC their first defeat and secure Pune’s first victory.

ISL: ATK beat bottom-placed Pune 1-0
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ISL: ATK beat bottom-placed Pune 1-0

Kolkata, Nov 10: ATK handed bottom-placed FC Pune City a 1-0 defeat in an intense Indian Super League (ISL) 2018 clash at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan stadium here on Saturday.

Brazilian defender Gerson scored the winner in the 82nd minute to hand his side a first home win of the season while Pune slumped to their fifth.

The three points push ATK on the sixth spot with 10 points from seven games, while Pune, with just two points from 7 matches, will be wondering if there is a way back for them in the competition.

ATK started the match brightly against Pune, who fielded eight Indian players and just three foreign players.

Pronay Halder was the first to force Pune goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh into a save with a long ranger in the second minute.

Manuel Lanzarote then had the Pune goalkeeper on tenterhooks as he floated a free-kick agonisingly wide.

The Kolkata-side maintained their dominance and almost took the lead when Gerson won a free-kick on the edge of the box in the 17th minute.

Lanzarote’s curler, however, struck the woodwork, much to the home side’s disbelief.

Pune City were very much on the back foot for the rest of the first half as well. Balwant Singh stung the palms of Kamaljit before Lanzarote curled another freekick just wide of the goal at the stroke of half-time.

The second half started on the same note with ATK passing the ball around to try and unlock the Pune defence while the visitors were playing on the counter.

One such counter saw Robin Singh set up Nikhil Poojari from the left wing but the latter’s shot was kept out by an alert Arindam Bhattacharya.

ATK’s frustration was growing at the other end as Komal Thatal’s cross fell for Balwant who set up Lanzarote.

But the Spaniard’s lazy attempt from inside the box was blocked away. In the 75th minute, Kamaljit did his team no favours by misjudging Lanzarotea’s corner.

Balwant kept it in and after a mad scramble, Everton Santos blazed it over from close range.

ATK’s persistence was finally rewarded in the 82nd minute when Lanzarote found Jayesh Rane with space down the right with a lovely backheel.

The substitute’s cross into the six-yard box was glanced in by Gerson who had made the foray forward from defence.

That would turn out to be the match-winner as ATK held on to the lead comfortably for a morale-boosting win.

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ISL: ATK look to record first home win vs Pune (Preview)

Kolkata, Nov 9:  A resurgent ATK would look to register a first home win this season when they take on bottom-placed FC Pune City in a seventh-round Indian Super League clash here on Saturday.

ATK are seventh in the ISL standings.

The two-time champions suffered their third home defeat last week when they went down 2-1 to Bengaluru FC.

The city-based outfit have only managed to muster seven points from their six outings.

ATK will also hope forward Kalu Uche is fit to start the game.

The Nigerian had sustained a muscle injury during the team’s 1-2 loss to Bengaluru FC in their previous outing.

Uche had to be stretchered off in the first-half and the team not having a proper replacement was termed as “an issue” by coach Steve Coppell.

Steve Coppell’s side have been inconsistent so far and their star-studded attack force which consists of players like Manuel Lanzarote, Kalu Uche and Balwant Singh are yet to fire on all cylinders.

Like any other Coppell’s team, ATK have not been flamboyant in the attacking third but unlike some of the other teams he has managed in India, they have failed to keep a clean sheet this season.

For the hosts, Under-17 World Cupper Komal Thatal has been impressive and in the last outing, broke through the high profile Bengaluru FC defence to give ATK the lead.

Coming to Pune, they got off to the worst possible start to their ISL campaign this time.

They lost four out of their first six matches.

Deemed as title favourites before the start of the season, Pune have so far failed to live up to the expectations, leaking 15 goals in six matches.

Off the field, Pune had problems too with Marcos Paqueta, who was roped in to replace coach Ranko Popovic, leaving within a week to join Brazilian club Botafogo.

Pune then signed former Delhi Dynamos manager Miguel Angel Portugal but the Spaniard departed after a hat-trick of losses.

Technical director Pradyum Reddy has since been made the interim manager but they are still in search of their first win, having conceded 15 goals in six matches.

Enjoying a 5-1 head-to head record against ATK, the Stallions will look to continue their dominance over the Kolkata side.

Indian Super League (ISL)
Indian Super League (ISL)
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ISL: FC Pune City hold Delhi Dynamos in a close contest

New Delhi, Oct 3: Miguel Angel Portugals FC Pune City managed to earn a hard fought 1-1 draw at death against home side Delhi Dynamos in their Indian Super League (ISL) opener at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Wednesday.

Delhi seemed set for all three points after a wonderous long-range strike from Rana Gharami (44th minute) but for second-half substitute Diego Carlos who equalised with two minutes left on the clock.

Indian Super League (ISL)

Rana Gharami became the first Indian footballer to score the goal in ISL 2018-19 season.

Coach Josep Gombau had Delhi Dynamos line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Andrija Kaluderovic leading the lines.

Former Pune City midfielder Marcos Tebar started in midfield with Bikramjit Singh while Nandhakumar and Lallianzuala Chhangte provided the width.

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Pune City playing a 4-3-3 formation started brightly, with Ashique Kuruniyan finding a lot of space down the left flank. An early cross from the youngster almost found Emiliano Alfaro inside the box.

Just after quarter of an hour, Delhi started to assert themselves and fashioned several key chances. With a minute to go for the half-time whistle, Delhi Dynamos got a deserved lead through an outrageous strike from Rana Gharami.

The defender got on the ball from about 40 yards out and hit a thunderous strike that flew into the top corner, much to everyone’s wonder.

The second half got off to a slow start as both teams failed to create chances of note. Emiliano Alfaro cut a lone figure up front for Pune City while Delhi Dynamos pressed well but could not trouble the Stallions’ defence.

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The Dynamos continued to exploit the wings and should have doubled their lead in the 67th minute. Nandhakumar went on a brilliant run down the right wings and squared the ball for Kaluderovic who met it with a weak left-foot that saw the effort trickle well wide.

Indian Super League (ISL)

Portugal threw on Diego Carlos as he searched for an equaliser while Gombau sent on Romeo Fernandes for Nandhakumar.

It was the latter who would fashion a chance as he galloped down the right wing and almost found Kaluderovic inside the box, but for an alert Mills.

The Stallions did get a chance though as a hopeful cross from the left fell to Jonathan Vila on the edge of the area. The Spaniard’s fierce volley drew a fantastic reaction save from Francisco Dorronsoro.

With Pune turning desperate for a goal, Delhi had two good chances to score a second. First, Ganni Zuiverloon failed to direct a volley at the backpost from Das’ freekick on target. Then a smart inter-play between Kaluderovic and Chhangte set the latter through on goal but he shot straight at Vishal Kaith.

With two minutes left in the tie, Pune City equalised after brilliant link-up play between Alfaro and Carlos. The Brazilian played in Alfaro inside the box.

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The Uruguayan passed it back on to Carlos’ path who shifted on to his left and sent an arrowing finish to the far corner.

Though Delhi pressed hard to regain their lead, Portugal’s men held on to clinch a point from a tightly-contested clash.

Hero Indian Super League (ISL)
Hero Indian Super League (ISL)
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Delhi Dynamos seek winning start at home against Pune City

New Delhi, Oct 2: Delhi Dynamos will look to start their campaign on a winning note when they lock horns with FC Pune City in their Indian Super League season opener here Wednesday Hero Indian Super League (ISL)

The Dynamos would look to forget a disappointing last season when they finished eighth. However, they also experienced an incredible six-match unbeaten run, which included draws against three of the four semi-finalists as well as a 5-1 out of Mumbai.

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The hosts will try to notch up a win in front of their home supporters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

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Delhi Dynamos enjoy a good head-to-head record against the visitors — FC Pune City have managed to defeat Delhi only once in their eight encounters and the hosts would want to keep the record intact.

New head coach Joshep Gambau will be relying on their new recruits in the midfield including Bikramjit Singh, Mihelic and Spaniards Marcos Tebar and Adria Carmona to secure them the three points.

FC Pune City, who finished fourth last season, will hope to break their Delhi jinx.

After Ranko Popovic resigned, the Pune outfit appointed Brazil U-17 and U-20 World Cup winning-coach Marcos Paqueta, but within a month the Brazilian too terminated his contract. The club quickly brought in Miguel Angel Portugal, who had left Delhi Dynamos at the end of last season.

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The club had relied on captain Marcelinho and his deputy Alfaro to take the team forward last season, but Pune has addressed the over-reliance on their attacking pair by signing Iain Hume, ISL’s all-time top-scorer, as well as India international Robin Singh to take some of the pressure off the duo.

Forward Ashique Kuruniyan, who impressed with a string of performances last season will also be keen to pick up from where he left.

Pune also has the experienced pair of Ashutosh Mehta and Keenan Almeida to boost their defence.

The match starts at 7:30 pm IST.

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FC Pune City signs England's Matthew Mills
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FC Pune City signs England’s Matthew Mills

Pune, Aug 21: Indian Super League (ISL) club FC Pune City has signed English centre back Matthew Mills to strengthen their defence for the 2018-19 season.

The club announced today his inclusion in the team through a media release.

FC Pune City CEOGaurav Modwelsaid,“Matthew comes with a lot of experience, having played so many seasons in England. That’s a big boost for our existing team, especially for young players in the team.” 

Mills started his career with Swindon Town before joining Southampton in 2003. He then went on to play for Coventry City and Bournemouth.

In 2006, he signed a contract with Manchester City and made his debut against Chelsea in March 2006.

In 2008, Mills joined Doncaster Rover, making 41 appearances in his first full season of 2008-09 and later moved to Reading Football Club, leading the team in the 2011 Championship play-off.

Mills then went to Leicester City followed by a move to Bolton Wanderers, making 87 appearances before moving to Nottingham Forest.

He also represented England U-19 and helped the team qualify for the European U-19 Championship in March 2005.

FC Pune City head coachMiguel Angel Portugalsaid, “Matthew is a player of great calibre and with his experience adds a lot of value to our defence line.

“He will bring a lot of leadership in our backline and gives options to the team since it’s going to be a long season this time around.” 

Mills said, “The club’s ambition to reach new heights maintaining a healthy balance between young and experienced players is a refreshing and exciting prospect.”

FC Pune City sign Iain Hume
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FC Pune City sign Iain Hume

Pune, Aug 2: Pune City FC today signed Canadian striker Iain Hume for the 2018-19 season of the Indian Super League.

As a part of the agreement, the club will have an option to retain the prolific forward for one more year at the end of the coming season.

Hume, who is the highest goal scorer in the history of ISL, has plied his trade with Kerala Blasters FC and ATK, scoring 28 goals in four seasons. Besides, his 59 appearances till date is the highest number of games played by any player in ISL.

In February, Hume suffered a knee injury that ruled him out of action for the rest of season. Thereafter he has undergone a surgery on his right knee and has been doing his rehabilitation in India and the UK.

Commenting on the signing, FC Pune City CEO Gaurav Modwel said, “Iain Hume will continue his rehab under the supervision of our medical team and train with the team during preseason.

“If everything goes as planned, we estimate him to be back in 12- 14 weeks’ time. Iain is a highly motivated athlete and we are sure that he will get back to his previous best and play an important role for us this season.” 

Hume said, “It wasn’t a very tough decision to make, to return to the ISL and join FC Pune City if I’m honest. From the other side, I’ve always admired the top-class facilities at the training ground and the stadium and the way the club is professionally run.”

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