A late brace from Emiliano Alfar helped FC Pune City edge past Mumbai City FC 2-1 at the Balewadi Sports Complex last Wednesday in the Maharashtra Derby.
It was a dramatic encounter in which the visitors began by pressing Pune and kept taking the attack to them. Both teams had come into the match on the back of wins in their respective Round 2 matches and produced some brilliant end-to-end football during this game.
Balwant Singh gave Mumbai the lead in the 15th minute after hitting a lovely shot from distance which soared into the back of the net.
Pune then surged forward in search of the equaliser but didn’t manage it until the 74th minute when they were handed a life line when Raju Gaikwad was adjudged to have tripped Carlos inside the box. Alfaro stepped up and calmly slotted the ball home, sending Amrinder the wrong way.
Pune finally got the winner in the 2nd minute of injury time. Lucca picked up fellow Brazilian Carlos with a delightful overhead ball from the centre. Carlos, through on goal, unselfishly teed up the Uruguayan to tap into an empty net.
Pune head coach told a post press conference how proud he was of his team.
“We are working on this (keeping clean sheets), but sometimes you cannot do it. Before the goal, we made a couple of mistakes and practically invited him (Balwant Singh) to score a fantastic goal. Now after the result, 2-1 is for us. If they won 1-0, I don’t know what would be my comment. Until we have the possibility to change the result, we must do everything. This is what I want from them, and this is what they are doing, and I am really satisfied because of that,” he said.
“Pune was the team which made the game, created the chances, and finally scored the goals. Today, we had a complete game.
“Today, there were many nice things on the pitch, and it was good publicity of the derby, of nice football, of everything. Two good teams, and I am very proud of my guys today, because they showed over the 90 minutes, that they want to win.”