Late goal gives Pune City first ISL3 win

Momar Ndoye produced a 90th-minute winner to inspire FC Pune City to their first win of the 2016 ISL season at the Nehru Stadium in Margao on Saturday. The 2-1 victory was just Pune's second away win in ISL history, and first since 2014. The other goalscorer for Pune was Arata Izumi (25th minute) while Rafael Coelho scored for Goa in the 33rd minute.

Goa head coach Zico fielded a more aggressive team than the one that played the first game in Guwahati, with striker Reinaldo coming in place of midfielder Richarlyson, while Pune City gave a first start to their marquee Mohamed Sissoko in midfield, as well as striker Anibal. Pune head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was missing from the bench, serving out the second game in a four-match pitch-side suspension carried over from the first season.

Few openings were created in the first half as both teams lined up in a compact manner and cancelled each other out in the early exchanges. Pune felt aggrieved when Goan defender Fulganco Cardozo appeared to make contact with Jonatan Lucca inside the box, as the former FC Goa midfielder looked to take advantage of a clever scooped ball from Tato. Though referee MB Santosh Kumar did not give a penalty, Pune's attacking intent was rewarded in the 25th minute, as Lucca took a ferocious shot with his right foot that beat an outstretched Laxmikant Kattimani in goal but bounced off the post. Arata was quickest to react off it, and turned the ball in for his first goal for Pune and sixth overall in the ISL.

It did not take Goa long to reply, with a Kattimani clearance from open play in the 33rd minute headed down by Jofre Gonzalez, and Coelho outpaced Gouramangi Singh in defence to slot it home past Edel Bete. Jofre continued to pull the strings well for the hosts, and his passes and interplay with Reinaldo kept the Pune defence, which lined up with five players on the night, on its toes. Late in injury time, a cross from the corner was headed down inside the Pune box by Raju Gaikwad, and Goa were convinced that Eduardo used his hand to stop the ball, but the referee only blew his whistle to signal the end of a physical first 45 minutes.

Zico tried to counter Pune's extra presence in midfield by introducing Romeo Fernandes in place of Cardozo to start the second half, and the first clear chance fell to Coelho again in the 51st minute, as he burst into space with Reinaldo running alongside him to open up an option. The shot came from Coelho, though, and Edel saved low down to his right. Edel was called up two minutes later, when Romeo pounced on a free kick taken quickly by the hosts, but his shot was stopped low down to the right by the Armenian goalkeeper. Within the next minute, Romeo would win the ball and pull away from his marker to bear down on the Pune goal, but his attempt at beating Edel on the near post sailed over the goal.

Pune had a good spell of play in the 61st minute, as Anibal latched on to a through pass from Sissoko, and did well to hoodwink an onrushing Kattimani, but the Goa goalkeeper was able to divert the Pune striker's attempt at goal out of harm's way, before Gaikwad effected the clearance. Seconds later, Lucca would pick up a loose ball and shoot, but his attempt was collected easily by Kattimani. Pune would then have two appeals for penalty turned out, starting with an attempted Rahul Bheke dink inside the box that appeared to make contact with Balmuchu's arm, and then a minute later once Tato and Anibal had worked a one-two inside the penalty area and left Kattimani for dead, Lucio won the ball off the latter, but sent Anibal down to the ground in the process.

In the 69th minute, Romeo was released on the right flank by Coelho, and his cross was met by a crisp volley from Trindade Goncalves, but Edel did well to tip it over the crossbar. Edel was pressed into action again in the 83rd minute, as he couldn't catch a stinging Coelho effort from just outside the box, but gathered himself to collect before it could fall to any of the Goan players following up. Goa were wasteful in the last few minutes of regulation time, with substitute striker Julio Cesar striking the ball well over the target. And they were made to pay in the 90th minute.

Lucca slipped the ball through in midfield, and Senegalese striker Ndoye made his way across to it, created some space for himself and beat Kattimani with a beautifully curled shot into the right corner of the Goa goalkeeper's net.

 

This is the first time that Pune have won in Goa in the ISL, with both teams seeking to lodge their first points of the season. While Goa had lost their opening match 2-0 away to NorthEast United, Pune were beaten 1-0 at home by Mumbai City FC.