ISL: FC Pune City beat Kerala Blasters 3-2; back to the pinnacle

FC Pune City 1Pune: The Rajesh Wadhawan Group and Hrithik Roshan co-owned FC Pune City went back to winning ways and to the top of the table as Nicky Shorey-Kalu Uche combine beat the Kerala Blasters 3-2 at the Balewadi stadium in Pune.

Two goals each for Mohammed Rafi (1', 30') and Kalu Uche (16', 23') brought parity at half-time before ever-reliable Tuncay (72') nodded home the winner in the second half. The home team made a total of five changes from the previous game as Kalu Uche, Bikash Jairu, Gurjinder Singh, Diego Colotto and Pritam Kotal made it to the starting lineup.

The match begun with a blitzkrieg, as the visitors scored a goal in the very first minute of the match. Chris Dagnall sent the ball in from the right flank and Mohammed Rafi was in perfect position to head it in as Blasters took the lead.

Pune kept knocking on the door and did not have wait too long for an equalizer as Nigerian forward Uche scored for the home team in the 16th minute. Nicky Shorey sent in a delicious ball into the 6-yard box. The lanky forward got a free header 3 yards from goal to make it 1-1.

Uche continued with his red-hot form on the turf as he netted his second in the 23rd minute, putting the home side ahead. Shorey effortlessly cut past two players and made his way into the box squaring the ball for Uche who poked it in first time.

That was not the end of action from first half as Blasters hit back with an equalizer. Rafi won the header from a corner which was swung into the middle from the left. The ball struck the right post, rolled to the left and went in after striking the left upright.

With the half time scores leveled at 2-2 and plenty of action in the offering. The second half bought some paucity to the match as both teams tightened their defenses. Pune made their first change of the match at the start of the second half as Argentine Diego Colotto was replaced by the ever dependent Englishman Roger Johnson.

Coach Platt made further shielded his defenses by bringing in fresh pair of legs in the form of Dharamraj Ravanan in plave of Kotal on the 71st minute of the match.

Consistent attack and some swift football by the home side paid rich dividends as Tuncay gave FC Pune City the lead on the 72nd minute. Once again it was the Hero Of The Match Shorey’s intelligent assist. The winger who had been in sublime form through the match, swung the ball into the middle for Tuncay to head it into the back of the net.

FC Pune City lead the points table with 12 points from six games, followed by FC Goa on 10. Sachin Tendulkar owned Blasters with this loss are now at the bottom of the table with just four points in six games.