Mrcelinho might have scored a hat-trick but the Indian pair played their parts too.
FC Pune City made light of the absence of their suspended coach Ranko Popovic as they drubbed NorthEast United FC 5-0 in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune, on Saturday.
Brazilian striker Marcelinho scored a fabulous hat-trick after Ashique Kuruniyan had opened the account in the eighth minute and Adil Khan hammered the final nail late in the game as Pune City took a giant leap in standings. Pune have now moved to the second spot with 15 points from eight matches and are just a point behind league leaders Chennaiyin FC.
Watch: FC Pune City 5-0 NorthEast United recap
FC Pune City
Vishal Kaith– 7.0
He made s crucial save in the first five minutes, which resulted in an eventual counter-attacking move and the first goal for the home side. The second half was the busier one with shots coming from almost every Northeast United player that too on target. But, the U-23 Indian national team goalkeeper came to the rescue, be it set-pieces or open play.
Gurtej Singh– 7.5/10
The dark-horse of the Stallions was influential in his side keeping a clean sheet for two games in a row. The defensive pair of Gurtej and Rafa Gomez has been good throughout the season but yesterday’s the performance was absolutely spot on from the man-marking expert of the team.
Keeping the likes of Danilo Lopes quiet for 90 minutes is something this man will not be appreciated enough for. He is the Andreas Christensen of Pune City in a way now, calm, composed and brilliant.
Adil Khan– 8.5
Adil has been in sublime form since his appearance in Jamshedpur and boy, he was in some party mood. He made a crucial interception that led to the counter-attack leading to the first goal. Every pass was an attacking oppurtunity, every interception was crucial.
The cherry on the cake? Well, the fifth goal for Pune was scored by him. He was Substituted by Rohit Kumar in second half added time. Inshallah the boy played well.
Sarthak Golui– 7.0
If Fanai was wreaking havoc on the left flank, Golui was his partner in crime from the right side. Since his debut as a substitute against Chennayin, Goloui has been a regular name in the Stallions’ starting lineup, and he was really good at chasing down wingers, winning the ball cleanly and attempting to cross the ball into the box. Overall it was a really solid and improved performance
The Kerala youngster was inducted into the squad replacing Wayne Vaz and played for some time against Bengaluru and Chennai. However, this was his first start at home. Replacing Diego Carlos is a big deal but he saw through the match with minimal errors.
He scored the opening goal of the match for the home side which definitely boosted his confidence. He also kept on delivering good crosses into the box for Emiliano Alfaro and played well in the defensive aspect as well.
Lalchhuanmawia Fanai– 7.0
He wreaked havoc on the left flank and as usual the link-up play with the forwards was spot on right from the first minute of the match. Fanai had the tough job of stopping Malemnganba Meitei from creating any chances and did pretty well. He did not get involved in any mistimed tackles and was composed throughout the game.
Jewel Raja– 6.0
After being sidelined for over a month due to tan untimely injury, Jewel Raja came on for Jonatan Lucca in the 70th minute and played a very decent game. The way the Pune forwards were playing was completely in contrast to the game he played. The kind of composure shown by the midfielder was good enough for his confidence and would set his way into the new year with the expectation of having more game time having returned to full match fitness.
Reagan Singh– 6.0
The former Mumbai FC defender was nowhere to be found in the first half except on some crossing occasions. He was successful in executing damage control plans after the wonder goal by Marcelinho and dropped back, avoiding to create any attacking move from his side. He showed a lot of heart in the second half but, all his efforts went in vain after conceding two more goals, one of them from a cross from his flank.
TP Rehenesh– 3.5
Rehenesh could not do much to save the first goal since Md. Ashique got the ball via a deflection and tried his best to save the free-kick from Marcelinho, but a basic goalkeeping error led to the third goal for Pune. He did save in a one-on-one chance against Alfaro. Considering the series of errors that he has made this season, its time he gets his confidence back or else things might just get worse for his team.
Rowllin Borges– 4.5
Unfortunate with a shot on target that went off the post after a deflection. Conceded fouls for no reason and led to Pune getting free-kicks in dangerous positions. One such foul in the 28th minute resulted in the second goal for the Stallions.
He provided some really good through balls to his wingers, but those chances did not get converted into goals. A national team regular who crosses the ball consistently and tries long passes was restricted to short passes and interceptions.
Abdul Hakku– 5.0
He attempted some good crosses that did not get converted, and tried to go for glory himself on some occasions. He did not have any kind of impact in the game and was eventually substituted.
Malemnganba Meitei– 5.0
Meitei has good dribbling skills but couldn’t complete take-ons. Plus the run of defeats might have had an effect on his confidence levels that might be the reason he did not try to penetrate through the Pune defenders fearing the chance of a counter-attack by the Stallions should he fail to get through them. He and Seminlen Doungel created some chances, but rarely made an impact on the overall scenario of the game.
Lalrindika Ralte– NA
Pulled his right hamstring in the first half while attempting a cross and had to be taken off to avoid any further damage.
Seimenlen Doungel– 6.0
Came on for Lalrindika Ralte after the latter was taken off due to a hamstring strain. He was the only player wanting to take the opportunities and take the chances in a group that lacked confidence going forward. But, he was isolated due to the low morale of the rest of the team. He completed dribbles and take-ons, but goalscoring was a primary issue thanks to the superb defending by the Stallions.
Gursimrat Gill– NA
Replaced Abdul Hakku late in the second half. Did not play enough minutes to get a rating.