Tag Archives: FC Pune

FC Pune City defeat Mumbai City FC 2-0

FC Pune City rode on Dudu Omagbemi’s double strike to record a convincing 2-0 win over Mumbai City FC, the result virtually knocking the visitors out of a semifinal reckoning while keeping alive the home side’s chances in the Indian Super League on Wednesday.

Dudu rose to the occasion with two second half goals (66th and 80th minutes) to send Franco Colomba’s men soaring up to the fourth spot in the ISL table.

The match could have gone the other way had Tiago Ribeiro converted a penalty in the 51st minute for the visitors. The only downside for the victors was the expulsion of their head coach for entering the pitch in celebration of his side’s goals.

It was a frantic start to a very entertaining first period. The home side was off the blocks almost immediately with the Nigerian striker testing Subrata Paul from distance. The India No 1 keeper was up to the task however and thwarted a wave of Pune attacks. Pune really should have taken the lead through Dudu again but Paul stood firm once more.

Park Kwang-Il, playing on the left side of the midfield, was a livewire throughout but even he was guilty of missing a good chance. Kostas Katsouranis and Jermaine Pennant also fluffed their lines. Manuel Friedrich and Abhishek Yadav came closest to opening the scoring for the away side. Both however, missed their headers from Ribeiro’s corners.

In the second session, Pune looked like the only team who showed up. Mumbai made a half-time change bringing in Subhash Singh for Sushil Kumar Singh. But that did not make a difference to the home side as they continued to push forward.

Against the run of play however, Mumbai were awarded a penalty when Pritam Kotal stuck his hand out to control a cross in his area. Ribeiro stepped up and hit it to the right of Arindam Bhattacharya who got down well to make the stop and become the first keeper to save a penalty in the tournament.

A few minutes later, Krisztian Vadocz had the ball in the Mumbai net but it was chalked off for a handball. The home side finally got the reward for their persistence in the 66th minute when Dudu, who was lying injured on the pitch moments before, collected a cross from the left on his chest and volleyed it past an impressive Paul.

Pune got a second in the 80th minute when Park put a low cross into the box. A poor clearance saw the ball fall for Katsouranis who snatched at a shot. Dudu was however on hand to backheel it past Paul.

Peter Reid has a lot of thinking to do ahead of his cellar side’s next clash against Atletico de Kolkata at home on December 7 while Pune will feel more comfortable at home meeting Delhi Dynamos FC a day before.

FC Goa Thrash Delhi Dynamos FC 4-1

FC Goa got their act together after a couple of win-less outings as they handed Delhi Dynamos an embarrassing 4-1 defeat, riding on Youness Bengelloun’s twin strikes in an Indian Super League encounter, here on Thursday.

The victory couldn’t have come at a better time as it kept them in the reckoning for a semi-final berth in the cash-rich league.

Bengelloun scored in the 18th and 48th minute while captain Robert Pires and Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey scored one apiece, in the 53rd and 60th minutes respectively.

Gustavo Santos pulled one back for the hosts, when he converted from the spot in the 73rd minute, but that was just a consolation goal as was evident from the faces of the disappointed Delhi fans and players.

The victory, a very important one for FC Goa, finally put an end to the visiting side’s search for three points, their second in the tournament, while extending Dynamos’ winless run.

The Dynamos have now slipped to the bottom following four draws, three losses and a solitary win, while Goa improved a rung to move upto seventh spot with four defeats, two draws and as many wins in the eight-team franchise-based tournament.

The Goa outfit went ahead when Frenchman Bengelloun found the net almost halfway into the first half.

The second goal came as Andre Santos delivered a cross for Bengelloun, which the former Paris Saint Germain ‘B’ team defended gleefully headed home.

The visitors slammed the door on chances of a Dynamos comeback when Pires converted from the spot after Tolgay Ozbey, who was through with ball, was felled by Delhi’s giant shotstopper Kristof Van Hout.

Tolgay completed the rout in the 60th minute, dribbling past a series of Dynamos defenders before successfully finding the back of the net at the JLN Stadium, which witnessed a paltry turnout.

The about 6000-odd turnout was the worst in the tournament, which is otherwise creating new scales in in-stadia audience, when compared to other to leagues in Asia. Bengelloun first scored off a rebound after Gregory Arnolin’s header was kept out by the tall Dynamos goalkeeper Kristof Van Hout. The initial move began with a Andre Santos corner that landed on the feet of Robert Pires, who gave it to Bikramjeet Singh to make the final cross from the right.

The Dynamos had an outside chance to equalise a few minutes later but Robert Lalthlamuana’s volley off a cross from the right narrowly misses the right side of the post. Lalthlamuana’s approach before taking the shot though seemed a bit casual.

Besides, there was also a cross from the right by Steven Dias but Morten Skoubo could not reach the ball in time.

The Dynamos were certainly not lacking as far as build-up was concerned but, as has been their wont in the inaugural edition of the franchise-based league so far, could not make it count upfront.

A lot like in their previous matches, the Dynamos looked decent in the midfield, managing to string together a host of moves that looked like they would culminate in goals, but lacked ideas when it came to converting the opportunities into goals.

The defenders could not tackle the Goa assault for long, gradually losing the plot to concede four times in the game.

The visitors were much better when it came to making the most of the chances that came their way, a far cry from their opponents. Leading the side from the front Frenchman Pires, a legend at EPL giants Arsenal, marshalled the midfield effectively and was there whenever his team needed him.

There was a time when he decided to drop deep, to ensure that his team don’t give away the advantage.

There was much better coordination between the midfielders and strikers in the Goa line-up and the defenders were upto the mark. They succeeded in not letting the Dynamos players of the hook.

Standing in for regular coach Harm Van Veldhoven, Mark Luijpers had dubbed it a ‘revenge match’ following the Dynamos’ 0-1 defeat away in Goa. As the result shows, it boomeranged on the Dynamos team that is virtually out of reckoning.

Elano misses penalty, Chennai draw with Pune

It was a classic case of what a high-pressure match can do to even the best in the business. Call it the Elano blooper — the dead ball specialist sprayed wide a 15th minute penalty and along with that victory hopes of Abhishek Bachchan co-owned Chennaiyin FC.

Their Colombian striker John Stiven Mendoza, who worked tirelessly on the night right from the kickoff, was rewarded for his efforts in the 58th minute to save the Southerners the blushes and help them take home a point.

Earlier in the first half, FC Pune City drew first blood when right winger Israil Gurung sent forth a gem of an aerial ball to Greek midfielder Kostas Katsouranis. Rival midfielder Denson Devdas should have cut short the pass.

The Greek was there to slot the ball home and send the home crowd in to raptures in the ninth minute. It was just the ending to a well-fought match though the rivals will look back and count the number of times Mendoza, who was all over the place, took shots at goal but was denied his day in the sun. The 1-1 result keeps both teams static.

Chennaiyin FC with 12 points are at second spot while FC Pune City with 11 points are at third. At the whistle: FC Pune City 1 (Kostas Katsouranis 9m) drew with Chennaiyin FC.

FC Pune City hope to return to winning ways vs NORTHEAST UNITED FC

FC Pune City seemed to have kickstarted their campaign with their win over FC Goa. However, they lost their next game to Kerala Blasters FC and now lie seventh in the Hero Indian Super League table with just four points. They host one of the in form sides of the tournament, NorthEast United FC, who have lost only once and are third in the standings with eight points. Pune are playing their third successive home game and will look to get back to winning ways against the Highlanders who have performed creditably away from home, with a win and draw in their last two games.

Kerala Blasters fight back to register first ISL win

Kerala Blasters continued their upward curve after coming from behind to record their first victory in the Indian Super League as they beat FC Pune City 2-1 at the Balewadi Stadium.

It was the home team that made the brighter start, with David Trezeguet brilliantly finishing past David James in the 15th minute with a stretched first-time shot after Dutch debutante John Goossens took a quick freekick from the left.

ISL: FC Goa is a club that knows how to connect with its fans

If India is a sleeping football giant, then Goa is its heart. To witness the love Goans have for football you have to be in the state during the months of April and May, when hundreds of local inter-village football tournaments are organized. The level of involvement in these games drives home the point that football is one of Goa’s oldest abiding passions.

Goa is home to over 180 registered football clubs and has arguably the best youth development system in the country, in collaboration with the Australian Sports Outreach Programme (ASOP) and the Football federation of Australia (FFA). Besides, the Goa Football Association is the first state football association in the country to amend its constitution and make it similar to that of FIFA and AIFF.

No surprises then that Goa is the only Indian state where football is the official state sport. This seriousness in intent is reflected in the outcome. Till the beginning of this year Goa was home to three professional football teams — Dempo, Salgaocar and Churchill — all playing in the top-tier of Indian professional football. On April 13, 2014 it became home for a fourth. Mumbai-based Venugopal Dhoot, Goa’s Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo won the bid for the Goa franchise in the upcoming India Super League.

The club recognizes the love the locals have for the sport and I was delighted to hear from Mr Shrinivas Dempo that the club name was chosen by the people. Fans were asked to suggest a name for the Goa franchisee. After much deliberation the name, FC Goa, suggested by young Goan lad Velviro Pinto was chosen. This exercise, besides being a great strategy to engage fans, also helped create a sense of belonging among the fans towards the club. Loyalty can never be bought, it is always earned.

The reason why I like the name is because it is a no-nonsense name that remains true to the brand that the Goa franchise is trying to create. Something that is reflected the other elements of the team. The team jersey has been created by Adidas, the German company known for its focus on performance. On first glance I thought it looked very similar to the German national football team jersey. It is only later I noticed hints of the team colors – orange and blue. Together the two colors beautifully merge action with calmness. Very similar to how a football team must merge attack with defense. To me the colors symbolize resilience, power and stability. This is pretty close to what the team stands for.

To understand a team, you need to understand its personality. One of the best ways to gauge this is by understanding their logo. Mr Dattaraj Salgaocar was kind enough to provide me a detailed understanding of the official club logo, a combination of Goa’s state animal – the gaur or Indian bison – and a shield.

“For FC Goa we wanted to have a logo which will convey what we stand for, the values we believe in and the essence of Goa,” Salgaocar said. “FC Goa stands for strength, integrity and pride. A single club which has united three families and its enduring values. The team embodies the spirit of Joga Bonito, playing the beautiful game the way it should be played – with pace, power and passion.

ISL will take Indian football to next level: Colomba

Italian football professional Davide Colomba, who is midfielder for Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Pune City, believes that the inaugural tournament will be a step towards improving the quality of football in the country and help bridge the gap to the game’s elite countries.

“In Europe, football is a modern sport. In Italy, it is the national sport, the same as cricket is in India. It (ISL) will be a good step towards modern football,” he told indiansuperleague.com, when asked about the difference between the sport in India and Italy.

ISL begins Oct 12 with Atletico de Kolkata taking on Mumbai City FC in the opener at the fabled Salt Lake Stadium.

FC Pune City make their first appearance away against Delhi Dynamos FC Oct 14.

India is currently languishing at the 158th spot in the FIFA rankings, while four-time World Cup champions Italy are 13th in the table.

FC Pune City will be the Italian’s first club outside his country, and interestingly, he will be coached by his father Franco Colomba.

The Italian midfielder expressed his delight at getting the opportunity to play alongside prolific French striker and Juventus star David Trezeguet.

“He gives us a lot of confidence and is a fine example of a professional footballer. He’s humble and a winner,” the 26-year old said.

He is optimistic about the team’s chances in the tournament as the players are “slowly getting to know each other”.

“We are gelling well together, both tactically and technically. Some Indian players are very nice guys, strong willed and hardworking, which gives us the possibility of reaching a common objective,” the Bologna-born player said, adding: “My experience in the country so far has been fascinating.”