Chennaiyin FC pip FC Pune City to move to the second spot

Chennaiyin FC made FC Pune City pay for defensive lapses as they registered a 2-1 victory in a Hero Indian Super League clash at Chennai on Saturday.

Goals from Bernard Mendy (34th minute) and Stiven Mendoza (48th minute) allowed Chennaiyin FC jump up places in the Leader board to be among the top four of the competition with nine points from six matches. Kalu Uche pulled a goal back for Pune City in the 74th minute.

In a match billed as a clash between two stronger teams in the competition, Chennaiyin FC and Pune City both fielded their strongest squads but it were the hosts who enjoyed an upperhand at the start.

Chennaiyin made their intentions known right at the start when Elano Blumer and Mendoza combined in the first minute itself to keep Pune goalkeeper Steve Simonsen on his toes.

In the seventh minute, Pune defender Gouramangi Singh’s dangerous back-pass was almost capitalized by an rushing Elano but Simonsen left his line to avert the danger.

Simonsen was again called into action minutes later as Elano did well to trap Jayesh Rane’s cross and hoodwink his marker but Simonsen was the Pune City goalkeeper was unbeatable from close range.

The Pune citadel finally crumbled in the 34th minute when Dhanachandra Singh’s long throw right inside the heart of the rival box was headed home by Mendy who sneaked in from nowhere.

Pune started the second session well and had a chance inside just one minute. Yendrick Ruiz found Tuncay Sanli with space and he side-stepped both Mendy and Mailson but his final attempt, past the diving Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, was inches away from the far post.

Two minutes later, however, Chennaiyin FC made it 2-0 and it was Elano and Mendoza who combined superbly again. Elano’s overhead ball was cleared by the Pune defence but it fell back for Elano who did well to spot an opening and found Mendoza with a through ball. The Colombian striker chased, cut past the onrushing goalkeeper and calmly slotted it inside the net for another superbly carved out goal.

Pune clawed their way back into the game in the 74th minute. D Ravanan’s cross from the right saw Uche head but Karanjit was on hand to stop the attempt. The ball fell for Eugeneson Lyngdoh who missed the ball but Uche did well to think quick and pounce on the opportunity.

Pune’s marquee player Adrian Mutu came close twice to securing the equalizer but on both occasions his header was inches away from goal.


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