ISL 2017: ATK 1-4 FC Pune City - Marcelinho nets brace as Stallions stun Kolkata
FC Pune City training
Marcelinho scored a brace for the away side with Emiliano Alfaro and Rohit Kumar notching the other two goals...
FC Pune City outclassed ATK 4-1 in their second match of Indian Super League (ISL) season 4 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata on Sunday. Marcelinho scored a brace for the away side with Emiliano Alfaro and Rohit Kumar notching the other two goals. Bipin Singh scored the only goal for ATK.

ATK coach Teddy Sheringham made just one change in the starting XI. Bipin Singh replaced Rupert Nongrum on the right flank. FC Pune City made three changes to their starting line up. Injured players Jewel Raja and Sarthak Golui were replaced by Baljit Singh Sahni and Isaac Vanmalsawma. Baljit was deployed at right-back by coach Ranko Popovic.

Popovic started his team in a 4-4-2 formation with Emiliano Alfaro and Marcelinho upfront. Diego Carlos and Isaac started on the flanks and Rohit Kumar and Marcos Tebar operated in the heart of the midfield.

The home side were in control of the game and looked more dangerous during the early stages of the game. They came close to score the opening goal of the match in the first 10 minutes but the scoreline remained intact thanks to some resolute defending by the visitors.

Against the run of play in 13th minute, FC Pune City took the lead. Last season’s top scorer Marcelinho scored his maiden goal of the season from Emiliano Alfaro’s pass. Pune initiated a brilliant counter-attack from which Alfaro entered the penalty box from the left flank and squared it to an unmarked Marcelinho whose emphatic finish found the back of the net.

ATK Pune City

ATK became desperate after conceding an early goal and went all out to restore parity in the game. They missed the easiest chance of the match in the 28th minute when Hitesh Sharma failed to push the ball into the net from five yards out. Zequinha's a left-footer from the top edge of the penalty box was saved by Kamaljeet but the ball fell into Hitesh’s feet who failed to score.

Pune could have increased their lead minutes before the half-time whistle had Diego Santos been a little more clinical. Alfaro forwarded a through ball towards Diego who ran down the right flank. The winger attempted to chip the ball over Debjit but it went straight into the hands of ATK custodian. It was 1-0 in favour of Pune at the break.

ATK equalised within five minutes of the second half thanks to brilliant free-kick from Bipin Singh. The youngster curled a shot which kissed the crossbar and went in, with Kamaljit stranded. 

Unfortunately, ATK’s joy was short lived as Pune regained their lead within a minute. Rohit Kumar headed in their second goal from Marcelinho’s corner.

ATK Pune City

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Marcelinho further increased the away side’s lead at the hour mark. Alfaro picked out Carlos' run into the box and the winger's cross was headed out by the Pune defence but it ended up at the feet of Marcelinho who struck a low shot at goal. The shot took a deflection off Jordi and went past a wrong-footed Debjit Majumder.

A desperate Sheringham introduced Robin Singh after conceding the third goal in place of Hitesh Sharma. ATK were slowly fading away from the game as Pune concentrated on defending in numbers.

The final nail in ATK’s coffin was hammered in by Alfaro in the 80th minute when he scored off Marcelinho’s assist. The Pune skipper took advantage of Keegan Perreira’s sloppiness and forwarded a square pass towards an unmarked Alfaro. The Uruguayan striker confirmed Pune’s emphatic victory with a calm finish into the net.