We return home after the opener in Kochi against the Blasters that ended in a goalless draw.
We took on FC Pune City for our first home game at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan and here’s how we lined up against the Stallions:
Debjit Majumder, Prabir Das, Jordi Figueras Montel, Thomas Joseph Thorpe, Keegan Pereira, Conor Thomas, Bipin Singh, Hitesh Sharma, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Jose Egas dos Santos Branco, Njazi Kuqi
The first home game kicked-off to an electrified stadium. FC Pune City took the first kick at the ball however, in under a minute, we won our first corner that failed to threaten the away side. We continued to attack as Bipin Singh whipped in a cross that is deflected to Keegan but the defender’s shot goes flying behind the goal. Zequinha picks up with a free kick that was saved by Karamjit.
After ten minutes of the game, the visitors found the net through Marcelo during the 13th minute assisted by Emiliano.
The team got back on their feet with a series of attacks. Prabir’s cross found Kuqi; he took a shot but it deflected to Bipin who tried his luck at a goal but it slided away from the goal.
Zequinha takes charge of the attacking font during the first quarter of the game with a run from the left side of the pitch. He made a cross but fell short due to the weight of the pass that resulted in a comfortable collection by Karamjit.
Another notable play by the maestro happened at the half-hour mark as he broke through the heart of midfield with a solo run and blasted a shot away on goal from outside the box. Kamaljit Singh saves it but it fell to Hitesh Sharma who tried to convert from it however an alert Baljit made a tackle to deny us of a goal.
The first half came to a close with our side looking to create trouble for the away team but the goal by Marcelo was the difference between the two side at the end of 45 odd minutes.
The second half kicked-off with no changes from both sides.
Zequinha was fouled in the early few minutes of the second half by Marcelo that resulted in a free kick. Bipin Singh took the challenge and fired an amazing stunner that curled past the wall and beat the keeper to equalise.
Our celebration was short-lived as the visitors found a way through the defence and Rohit Kumar made it two for them.
The coach brought in Robin Singh before we entered the hour mark and saw Hitesh exiting the pitch after a fiery performance.
The visitors extended their lead through Marcelo who took a quick-fire shot that deflects off Jordi and rolled past the diving Debjit during the 60th minute of the game.
It didn’t take Robin Singh long to get into action as he made a run with the ball from the left flank to the right and took a shot from just outside the box but the keeper was quick with his save.
The ATK side continued to threaten the visitors as both Zequinha and Robin Singh worked together to create noise at the away’s end.
As the game carried on, the team went all out on the attack but FC Pune City found yet another goal as Emiliano’s shot went past an outstretched Debjit during the last ten minutes of the game.
We had our last shot at a goal through Rupert who after he connected superbly with Kuqi shot in a half-volley that hit the net but on the wrong side.
The game concludes with the visitors taking home three points.
Fittest Player: Jose Egas dos Santos Branco
Emerging Player: Bipin Singh