Pedro Manzi scored three goals for the fifth time this season as Chennai City beat Pune City 4-2 in the 2019 Super Cup Round-of-16 on Sunday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.
Manzi (35', 40', 62') and Sandro Rodriguez (75') scored for the I-League champions and the efforts of Marcelinho (43') and Marko Stankovic (56') were in vain. The I-League champions will now face Indian Super League (ISL) champions Bengaluru FC in the quarter-final on April 4 at the same venue.
A pulsating start to the game saw Ameeruddin slipping the ball to Pedro Manzi inside the box whose first-time shot was blocked. At the other end, Stankovic's curling set-piece was headed wide by Robin Singh.
Pune City made full use of turnovers in midfield to counter with pace. Iain Hume's goal-bound header from Stankovic's cross into the box from one such opportunity forced a terrific save off Boerchio.
A wonderful combination of passes brought about the game's first goal. Nestor dribbled into space in the centre and released AMeeruddin to his right and winger's perfectly-timed low cross was guided into the net by Manzi.
The Spaniard added to his account in the 40th minute as Nestor's cross into the box fell to his feet. He shimmied past Matt Mills before finding the bottom corner of the net with a neat finish.
Just as Chennai City seemed to be taking over the game, Marcelinho, who had missed a couple of chances earlier in the half, pounced on a bad error by Gaurav Bora to score. The Brazilian talisman nicked the ball off the defender and beat the goalkeeper in a one-on-one inside the box.
The I-League champions were reduced to 10 men soon after the break. Charles Anandraj lunged into a tackle on Iain Hume and picked up his second yellow card of the match.
Bora's game turned worse when he pushed Marcelinho down inside the box as the forward dribbled past a crowd of Chennai defenders towards the goal. Stankovic converted from 12 yards to bring Pune City level.
The drama refused to end as Adil Khan brought Tarif Akhand down inside the box during a corner-kick routine at the other end. Pedro Manzi made no mistake from the spot to earn his fifth hat-trick this season.
Chennai doubled their lead and sealed the win with a brilliant move. Nestor's dummy for Manzi's low cross from the left outfoxed the defence and Sandro slotted the home to cap off the move.