Chhetri leads Bengaluru's comeback win in Pune as Adil's strike goes in vain
Written by: Pradyumna Tembhekar
The midfielder's first half goal was cancelled out by a Miku brace and the India skipper duly wrapped up the points.
Bengaluru FC secured their position at the top of the table in the Hero Indian Super League after fighting back from a goal down to edge past 10-man FC Pune City 3-1 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune, on Thursday.
Adil Khan put FC Pune City in the lead in the 35th minute, and the home team looked to be the better side in the first 45 minutes. The match, however, turned on its head in the second session after Pune defender Baljit Sahni was sent off for a second yellow card in the 56th minute.
The hero, once again, for Bengaluru FC was Venezuelan forward Miku who scored two goals, in the 64th and 78th minutes of the game, while Sunil Chhetri hammered the final nail in the last minute of play.
Here's how the Indian players fared in the match.
Watch: FC Pune city 1-3 highlights
FC Pune City
Vishal Kaith- 8.0
Collected a well placed free-kick by Chhetri. But lack of communication with centre-back Gurtej Singh almost cost them a goal. He was the busier of the two keepers with some excellent saves to add to the frustration of the Bengaluru forwards.
Gurtej Singh- 7.0
He had a lovely start to the game creating chances through long passes and taking opportunities during Pune’s set-pieces. The dark-horse kept doing his work quietly heading away dangerous crosses from Udanta Singh.
Adil Khan- 9.0
After scoring the winner against Jamshedpur, Adil Khan started his third straight game for the home side. He kept intercepting through balls from Erik Paartalu and Dimas Delgado, and buoy, what a diving header! Converted a lovely cross from Isaac Vanmalsawma and gave Pune the lead. Played as a perfect box-to-box midfielder. Rohit Kumar will certainly face some competition for his place. Splendid commitment and amazing work rate. It was sad for a player like him to be on the losing side.
Baljit Sahni- 4.0
Baljit Sahni sent off
Baljit was back to his original role as a forward but that was only on paper. After playing some games in the right-back position, he was shifted to the left of the back four. He was totally outplayed by Udanta on a couple of occasions and the “head”master was back with some crucial clearances through his head. But, two needless challenges forced the referee to send him off the pitch in the second half leaving the hosts with 10 men against a horrifying quick attack which was just warming up.
Sarthak Golui- 6.0
The young Indian player started yet again after coming on as a substitute against Chennaiyin in their last home game. After an impressive display against Jamshedpur, he was given his first home start. Started the game as a right-back for the Stallions and had a really tough job at hand up against Chhetri.
Isaac Vanmalsawma- 7.0
He found it difficult getting past Harmanjot Khabra in the first twenty minutes, but he found his rhythm with Maarcos Tebar eventually, making life difficult for Khabra who was caught out of position. That was the last contribution for Isaac as he was taken off the field due to an injury.
Kean Lewis- 5.0
Came on for Isaac who went off injured and was decent in his approach. he did complete some dribbles but unnecessarily complicated things for himself by trying to dribble past too many people. Moved on to the centre of the pitch after Sahni was sent off.
Md. Ashique- 5.0
Came on for Jonatan Lucca in the second half, but got booked moments after he was brought on. Another rash two-footed challenge would have had Pune down to nine men had that challenge brought the player down. However he took on three Bengaluru players by himself and created an opportunity to restore the lead for the Stallions.
Lalthuammawia Ralte- 6.0
He is probably the shortest goalkeeper in the ISL but covered up for his anatomical variation with his superb positioning. He made a fine save to deny Diego Carlos from hitting the back of the net to double the lead for Pune in the first half, but did not have any work to do in the second half courtesy some amazing attacking moves by the away team.
Rahul Bheke- 7.0
He had a tough job to do to keep Carlos at bay and he did that to some extent. Came up with an excellently timed challenge to nullify Emiliano Alfaro’s chance to go forward on the counter-attack. Excellent presence of mind combined with a calm mentality and crisp passing made him an important player on the night.
Harmanjot Khabra- 4.0
Khabra had a good 20 minutes but found life difficult after the combination of Isaac and Tebar started creating problems for his defensive line. He was caught out by a swift move from Tebar which opened up the space for Isaac, that led to a goal of the week contender finish.
Sunil Chhetri- 8.0
The national team captain had a comparatively quiet game considering the crowding done by the home team defenders and midfielders in their defensive third. However, his superb positioning given the vast experience he has was crucial as his pass in the box was the pre assist to Bengaluru’s equaliser. Some of his sprints reminded us of the old days when he used to dominate his flank. A fine one-two move at the end of second-half extra-time gave him an opportunity to score the third goal for the away team and he made no mistake.
Subhasish Bose- 5.0
Shubhashish, like all his teammates, had a quiet first half. He headed away a crucial cross from Isaac and prevented a clear goalscoring chance for the home team and started taking shots on goal in the second half as well. Some unnecessary challenges could have been avoided but he had a decent game overall.
Udanta Singh- 8.0
He had a really quiet first half with only three successful crosses and two dribbles, but came into action in the second half with some displays of pace and dribbling. He continued to haunt the Pune backline and given his marker’s sending off, he was free to roam around his flank.
Published: Fri Dec 15, 2017 07:08 PM IST