Atletico de Kolkata pip Delhi Dynamos 1-0

Atletico de Kolkata handed Delhi Dynamos their first defeat of the season as they narrowly scrambled their way to a 1-0 victory in the Hero Indian Super League encounter at Rabindra Sarobar Stadium, on Saturday.

The hosts went into this game with no previous victories against the capital outfit, but Iain Hume’s 78th minute penalty proved to be the difference on the day. With this strike, the Canadian talisman became the highest goal-scorer in the history of ISL with 18 strikes, ahead of Colombian striker and last year’s Golden Ball winner Stiven Mendoza. Delhi Dynamos had a penalty of their own as Kolkata defender Henrique Fonseca saw himself get sent off for a second bookable offence, but Marcelinho’s effort from the spot was wide of the mark.

The first half proved to be a tad cagey with both teams struggling to retian possession and create telling goal-scoring chances. In the 24th minute, Delhi star Florent Malouda played a ball down the middle for Marcelinho, but the Brazilian lacked the composure to put the ball past the goalkeeper.

Photo Courtesy: ISL Official Website

Photo Courtesy: ISL Official Website

Ten minutes later, Kolkata goalkeeper Debjit Majumder was summoned and responded by making three quick-fire saves Delhi just couldn’t find a way past him from inside a crowded goalmouth. Richard Gadze, Marcelinho and Rupert Nongrum had a go at goal, but Majumder was up to the ask, time and again.

In the second half, it was an entirely different ball game at the start as the home team came out all guns blazing. Borja Fernandez picked up Doutie with a perfect ball but the South African shot wide even though there were three of his teammates waiting for the pass inside the danger zone. Another header from Hume went wide. At the other end, Gadze made a mess of an opportunity when a Kolkata defender slipped and he was left with only the goalkeeper to beat but he mistimed his shot, allowing the goalkeeper a simple collection. However, within a few moments, he managed to redeem himself by winning a penalty in the 76th minute, which led to Fonseca’s sending off, but Marcelinho failed to slot the ball home.

Even with 10 men, Atletico attacked and were rewarded a couple of minutes later when Doutie was brought down by Lalchhawnkima, prompting the referee to award a penalty. Hume stepped up and made no mistake to emerge as the highest goal-scorer in the history of ISL. The victory has taken Atletico de Kolkata to second spot on the table with nine points from five matches while Delhi Dynamos sit fourth with six points.

FC  Pune City look to right all wrongs on Habas’ return

Photo Courtesy: ISL Official Website

Photo Courtesy: ISL Official Website

FC Pune City head-coach Antonio Habas is back from a four-match suspension carrying over from last season, and hopes his presence in the Stallions dug out will inspire the players to their first home win of the 2016 Indian Super League. Marco Materrazzi’s Chennaiyin FC are the defending champions and are sitting in fourth position in the ISL table and will look to add to Pune’s misery when they taken the Maharashtra outfit at the Balewadi Sports Complex on Sunday.

FC Pune City

Goalkeeper Edel Bete was instrumental in guiding Chennai to the title last season and will be looking to impress against his former employers. While he has failed to keep a cleansheet this term, he is understood to have the complete backing of the back-room staff. Rahul Bhelke has been decent this season and is expected to be deployed as a right-back with Narayn Das commanding the opposite flank of the Pune defence. Eduardo Ferreira is hoping to be fit enough to make a comeback and is likely to partner Dharmaraj Ravanan. Gouramangi Singh has played every game this season and is due for a breather anytime soon.

Moving forward, marquee man Mohamed Sissoko and Bruno Arias are likely to start in midfield with Jonathan Lucca playing ahead of them. Arata Izumi is expected to take up his station down Pune’s left wing with Lenny Rodrigues on the opposite flank. Dramane Traore is likely to be given the nod to start as a lone striker.

Anibal Zurdo and Jesus Tato have both been deployed as a lone strikers, but they have failed to impress to the manager and were not included in the last game. Traore gives the manager a physical presence up front, and he also has a bag of tricks under his belt to make things tick for the Stallions.

FC Pune City Probable XI: Edel; Bhelke, Ravanan, Ferreira, Das; Sissoko, Arias; Lenny, Luca, Izumi; Traore.

Chennai vs Pune - Football tactics and formations

Chennaiyin FC

Karanjit Singh has apparently replaced Duwayne Kerr as the Chennaiyin number 1 and is likely to start between the sticks on Sunday. A centre-back pairing of John Arne Riise and Bernard Mendy is expected to be deployed in front of him. The likes of Hans Mulder, Renato Augusto and Jordi Blasi will be deployed as midfield trio, providing support to the attacking players.

Baljit Sahni has been decent in supplementing the Chennai front men and is expected to be given the nod ahead of home favourite Jeje Lalpekhlua. Jeje has struggled with form this season and it is only right for the head-coach to go for the pairing of Sahni and Jayesh Rane. The two seem to have a decent understanding among themselves and could be at the pick of things against Pune on Sunday.

Chennaiyin FC Probable XI: Singh; Wadoo, Mendy, Riise, Lalrinzuala; Mulder, Augusto, Blasi; Sahni, Rane, Succi.

Prediction

FC Pune City 1-1 Chennaiyin FC

Pune showed tremendous improvement against Kerala and could carry that run of form into the game against Chennai. The presence of their manager on the touchline will certainly be a morale booster and despite the visitors possessing the stronger of the squads, the Stallions may contest tooth and nail and come out with a point.

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