Kolkata: It was a game of two halves as Delhi Dynamos defeated FC Pune City 3-2 in a thriller that saw as many five goals being scored, all within 45 minutes at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, on Wednesday. Paulinho Dias, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Matias Mirabaje scored for the visitors, while Emiliano Alfaro and Marcos Tebar got the two goals for the home side.
The game had a shocking start as Jewel Raja of Pune had to be subbed off at the very first minute, with Baljit Sahni replacing him.
The first half was intriguing as both sides played some uninspiring football and although Delhi dominated the possession with 61%, they looked less than convincing. The left wing of Sena Ralte and Chhangte of the Dynamos however was a mile different than the rest, creating some good chances. Big money buys, Alfaro and Marcelinho however disappointed and an almost own goal by Praful Chowdhary under pressure from Alfaro in the 21st minute was the only telling contribution from Pune, as the first-half ended with a lot left to be desired by both the teams.
The wheel of fortune however changed for the ‘Lions’ as the second-half began with Delhi scoring three goals, all in the space of 20 minutes. It all began with the 20-year-old Lallianzuala Chhangte, who looked threatening throughout the entire match. A wonderful cross form the the former DSK Shivajians boy in the 46th minute opened the floodgates as Paulinho Dias send in a flying header into the ground and above the Keeper’s head to open the scoring. Eight minutes later Dias turned the provider. Winning a ball in the Pune half, he send in a pass to Lallianzuala who made a wonderful run with the ball before flicking it over an rushing Kamaljit, the Pune custodian, to make it 2-0 for the Dynamos.
As if it was not enough, Pune conceded another in the 65th minute, when Matías Mirabaje cut in from outside the box before unleashing a curled shot into the left corner as Delhi took an comfortable 3-0 lead. Pune however had their hopes alive two minutes after the goal as Alfaro put one back from a deflection.
Bouyed by the goal, Pune pushed for a second equaliser, but Delhi defended resolutely. The hosts eventually reduced the deficit to just one through former Delhi player Marcos Tebar in the 90+5′ minute but it proved too little too late as the referee blew the final whistle.
Delhi deservingly won the match and could have scored a couple more, had striker Kalu Ulche been more profilic.