Not many expected a very competitive fixture between an in-form Bangalore Football Club and an out-of-form Pune City Football Club. In fact, their disastrous start to the season continued as they saw themselves torn apart by the pacy visitors. It was the second loss from the three matches that they have played and now have a solitary point to show for.
Most of the Pune City FC’s chances came in the form of free-kicks and set-pieces. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Bengaluru FC’s goalkeeper, showed great temperament to stop Marcelino’s curling free-kick moving towards the top corner. The later had another free-kick saved as well. Apart from these two occurrences, he had a relatively quiet match.
India’s star goalkeeper, Sandhu in contrast, was impressive. On the back of a stunning performance for India against China, he was there when called into action. He did all he could to keep their Maharashtrian hosts at bay.
Miguel Portugal, Pune’s coach, is known to apply the Spanish tiki-taka style of football in his teams. However, his ISL teams have played anything but the famed passing style. The main strategy for Pune City was to exchange square passes and then send crosses from the wings. The same happened at a match with Delhi Dynamos and there has been little change in his approach. However, the strategy added up to no outcome.
Carles Cuadrat’s side, on the other hand, relied on the basics and collected the three points pretty easily. Apart from the questionable addition of Harmanjot Khabra in midfield, the rest of the decisions were quite spot on.
Dimas Delgado Impresses on Return
The midfield maestro, Dimas Delgado, kept distributing the ball and was effective in weaving about their attacks. He precisely knew when and where to pass every single time he was on the ball. His intelligent passing culminated in an assist to Sunil Chhetri’s opening goal. Delgado put up a wonderful cross-field diagonal cross over the PCFC defence. Later in the evening, he lobbed a delightful through-ball for Miku in the match that clearly displayed his passing acumen with the ball.
Both Miku and Sunil Chhetri were brilliant in attack. In fact, both the forwards will be disappointed to not have scored more goals, not because they failed to take their chances. It was because of Pune City’s lack-lustred and disorganized defence, who presented chances after chances.
Miguel Portugal Under Fire
This would be a big disappointment for the Stallions, since they had invested heavily in the squad, including bringing on a brand new manage in face of Miguel Angel Portugal.
As Pune languishes in the ninth position of the ISL table, it probably feels that the history might be repeating itself, as the Spaniard also saw his former side, Delhi Dynamos finish a lowly eighth last season.
He believed the lack of transfer activities were responsible for Lion’s dismal performances. Now that he has inherited a star-studded lineup, especially with multiple star foreign players signed, PCFC’s poor display on the field will be questionable.