Alfaro, Kalu Uche stars with brace as Pune, Delhi both settle for a point
Delhi Dynamos FC played out a 2-2 draw against FC Pune City in their last Hero Indian Super League clash of the season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi, on Friday.
Even though the game meant little for FC Pune City, who had already qualified for the playoffs, both sides put on a display of some scintillating attacking football. The visitors had to come from behind twice in the game to take away a well-deserved point. In-form Kalu Uche scored twice for Delhi in the first half, while both goals for Pune came from Emiliano Alfaro, once in each session.
Just 10 minutes into the game, Ashique Kuruniyan’s innocuous foul on Delhi’s nippy winger Lallianzuala Chhangte’s inside the box was picked up by the referee, who awarded a penalty. Kalu Uche stepped up and calmly slotted the ball home to hand Delhi the lead and take his personal goal tally in the ISL to 12.
Barely two minutes later, the referee again pointed to the spot, this time at the other end. Delhi midfielder Simranjeet Singh paid the price for holding on to Rafa Lopez too keenly for the referee’s liking while defending a corner inside his on box.
Alfaro took the responsibility for the visitors and sent Dynamos goalkeeper Arnab Das Sharma the wrong way. As the first half progressed, both sides created chances at regular intervals to go ahead but lacked finishing. However, in the 34th minute, Pune gifted the home side an easy chance to regain the lead and they took it. In an attempt to build play from the back, Rafa Lopez lost possession to Nandhakumar Sekar, who darted inside the box before squaring the ball for Uche to tap in his second goal on the night.
After the restart, the game continued to progress in a similar fashion. At the hour mark, Alfaro should have drawn his team level after the goalkeeper palmed a Marko Stankovic strike in his path but his first touch let him down. The striker however, got a chance to redeem himself in the final moments of the game when the referee pointed to the spot for the third time in the game with just four minutes left on the clock.
Mohammad Dhot clumsily brought Alfaro down in the box in the 86th minute and the striker dusted himself up and made best use of the opportunity to draw the game for Pune.