In a match of high intent played in high humidity, an unintentional goal proved decisive. An own goal from NorthEast United’s Zohminglina Ralte in the 73rd minute gave FC Pune City three points and pole position after two rounds in ISL’s second season here on Friday night.
In a match that promised much and delivered many moves and no goals till that point, Ralte’s impulsive defensive header rolled into the goal and gave the visitors a heartbreaking 0-1 defeat.
FC Pune City thus made it two wins in two games while North East, who finished last in 2014, are at the bottom with their second defeat. Pune’s Lenny Rodrigues said: “Thank God for this victory.” Cesar Farias of Venezuela, North East’s coach, said: “We didn’t make our chances count. We were positive, controlled the game and attacked consistently. Playing like this, we will get the results we want.”
Pune did their bit by showing a better attacking hand in the second half after conceding nine chances in the first half. In the first half, North East’s offense seemed far more cohesive, but Pune turned the tables in the second half by winning the midfield battle. Their English defender Roger Johnson was adjudged ‘Player of the Match.’
North East players were devastated after the final whistle with the majority going down on their knees. They had reason to feel dejected. Their attacking duo of Kamara (France) and Velez (Argentina) worked tirelessly. But they failed to get a goal despite numerous promising moves and shots on target.