The Delhi based outfit and Pune franchise shared the spoils at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium,Delhi as they played out an exciting goal-less draw. Alessandro Del Piero was named on the bench with Danish duo, Mads Junker and Martin Skuobo spearheading the attack for the Delhi team with Hans Mulder starting in midfield .
For the Pune side, captain David Trezeguet started upfront with Ashutosh Mehta and Israil Gurung working on the flanks with Kostas Katsouranis , the Former Greek World Cupper marshaling the midfield. Delhi Dynamos had the first chance of the match in the 11th minute as Mads Junker saw his header cleared away by Dharmaraj Ravanan. The Indian defender then made a crucial interception to deny Skuobo a few minutes later.
Delhi’s midfield trio of Francis Fernandes, Hans Mulder and Bruno Herrera dominated the middle of the park against a sloppy Pune side . Delhi Dynamos came close again in the 15th minute with Junker and Fernandes combining well only for Fernandes to misplace his shot in front of the goal. Mads Junker then tested Pune custodian Emanuele Belardi but it was an routine save for the Italian who held on to the ball rather comfortably.
Israil Gurung looked the most dangerous player for Franco Colomba’s men,running his socks off and helping in both attack as well as defense. Belardi was tested again by Junker midway into the first half but the Italian stood strong, making a fantastic save to deny the Danish striker. The Delhi side dominated the possession for most of the half with Pune usually seen sitting back and preferring to attack on the counter. Fernandes was the next to test Belardi with a long range shot from outside the box, but the former Juventus custodian made a brilliant acrobatic save.
Star striker and Marquee player Alesandro Del Piero came on late in the 1st half to replace Skuobo in the 38th minute following the striker’s collision with Pune City defender Bruno Cirillo. The former Italian immediately maid an impact by laying the ball well for Junker but Junker miscued his shot as he went inches wide. Delhi Dynamos had an appeal for a penalty turned down towards the end of the 1st half when Cirillo brought down Junker inside the box , much to the disappointment of the home fans.
The second half started with Pune creating the first opportunity as Gurung’s cross was cleared away by Anwar Ali. Unlike the first half, the second half was rather slow with the play being restricted to the middle of the park. Soon, Fernandes caught Daniele Magliocchetti out of position and sent in a low cross, Cirillo’s touch sent the ball upward before Ravanan could clear the danger.
Malswamtulunga proved to be a handful for Pune Defender Ravanan, dribbling past him to find Del Piero but the Italian failed to find Junker with his cross. Pune tried to turn things around by introducing Mehrajuddin Wadoo and striker Dudu Omagbemi in place of Kostas Katsouranis and Israil Gurung near the hour mark. In the 68th minute, Del Piero unleashed a bullet from around 25-yeards out as his left footed effort missed the target by a whisker. Del Piero was in the thick of the action again as he sent in an Pirlo-esque free-kick in the 84th minute which saw Mulder’s header sail over the bar.
Delhi Dynamos substitute Gustavo Marmentini ran down the right flank to see his left footed shot come off the post as Belardi had no chance whatsoever, the goalkeeper stood there in his position only wishing the ball doesn’t go in.It was arguably the closest the two teams came to score.
Delhi would surely be disappointed that they failed to make their chances count at home, while a point away from home wouldn’t be a bad result for Franco Colomba’s Pune.