The Gaurs will next face the Highlanders at home on 14th December as the Stallions head into the big break with a positive result.
On a cheerful night at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex here in Balewadi, FC Pune City emerged victorious against a mighty FC Goa side. Skipper Marcelinho opened the scoring with a spectacular strike in the second half and Marko Stankovic put the icing on the cake by scoring an injury-time penalty to ensure an emphatic 2-0 win.
— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) December 11, 2018
Watch: FC Pune City 2-0 FC Goa highlights
Naturally, after the win, Pune City interim coach Pradyum Reddy was in a fantastic mood as he started the conference by with a little bit of humour. He continued to speak about the game saying, “I think it was probably one of our best performances this season. It’s because we managed to build on the team effort that we put up in Kerala. It was very difficult to come back from that strenuous journey and put in such a performance against a team that has played fantastically this season.”
“So, we knew it was going to be tough and we knew that we had to work hard defensively. But then, as I spoke before, we had to attack because it was the best way to keep them (Goa) quiet and to make sure that we posed a threat as well. I thought we did very well in terms of posing a threat as well as as defending very well.”
Talking about whether the team applied a different strategy to stop the best attack in the league Reddy said, “Well, the plan was the same as before to be much more compact, to work as a unit defensively and that it’s not just individual, but we have to work together. At the same time, I think we were a lot more composed with the ball and we had a lot of possession. We weren’t just losing the ball after four or five passes which helped us in building the attacks. It is always a fun game against Goa as there are lot of goals. But, today was a little bit of a nervy affair in the first half, then that switched in the second half.”
Talking about the magnificent performance by goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh the coach said, “I think since last season the club has been very fortunate to have three fantastic young goalkeepers. Vishal (Kaith) has been called up for the national team today and he is a fantastic goalkeeper. Kamaljit started the last season. but then unfortunately lost his place to Vishal. It’s a very tough competition for the place and that has helped them improve this season.
The former Bengaluru FC assistant coach was very happy with the team’s defensive performance, as they have produced two clean-sheets in the last two games and that too against strong opponents like Kerala Blasters and now the Gaurs. “There’s not many teams who can keep a clean-sheet against Goa, not even teams like Bengaluru and Jamshedpur FC, so that great.”
Furthermore, he talked about his tactical changes which saw Diego Carlos and Ashutosh Mehta being benched. He confirmed that the former had just come out of an injury and wasn’t fit to play for the full 90 minutes or even 45 minutes. The coach sees the win as a huge positive as the team heads into the big break and looks to come back stronger to keep more clean-sheets and win the rest of the games.
On the other hand, Goa head coach Sergio Lobera too addressed the media for a short time as he talked about the disappointing result saying, “I think they (Pune City) took their chances and scored the goals.”
“The game today was not comfortable for us, but then that is how football is. We have a lot to learn from today and we want to be in the top four. Now, we are looking forward to the NorthEast United game at home.”
Talking about the chances his team failed to convert Lobera said, “I think that was the problem. It was a battle which was won by the team which scored first. We had a few chances in the game which we didn’t take advantage of.”