FC Pune City coach Pradhyum Reddy has said that by doing his homework, Pune were able to exploit the Kerala Blasters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Friday.
The only goal of the match came in the 20th minute from Marcelinho after Ashique Kuruniyan skippered through two men on the left and released the ball into the box. Marcelinho hit the ball towards the goal on the angle and it took a deflection off of Edathodika’s shin to spin over Dheeraj’s reach.
The Blasters’ decision to field Sandesh Jhingan as a right-back worked in Pune’s favour, with Kuruniyan causing Jhingan all sorts of trouble on the wings.
“We did our homework. We have seen the way Kerala played the last couple of games. We wanted to exploit the fact that Jhingan played out of position. The idea was to exploit those gaps.
Reddy was pleased with Brazilian Ashique who helped score the winner.
“Ashique was a one trick pony last season and he has added end product to his game. There is a reason why he is breaking into the national team and the squad. He can do both the attacking and defending side well. I thought he was fantastic today,” Reddy added.
The former Bengaluru FC assistant coach refused to rule out a push for the playoff spot after notching their second win of the season.
“With any coach, you try to win every single game. That is always the plan. We can’t control what the team above us does. We just have to keep winning.”
The win takes Pune to eighth spot and are now only a point off Kerala who remain a spot above. Blasters are winless in 10 games now.
Meanwhile Atletico de Kolkata held NorthEast United to a goalless draw on Saturday at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.