FC Pune City left it late but finally managed to score a hard fought but deserving 1-0 win over NorthEast United FC at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Stadium in Balewadi, Pune, tonight. Dutchman John Goossens came on as a 58th minute substitute to put his side in front in the 88th minute with a headed goal to lift Pune off the bottom of the table.
The Deccan side now climb to fourth spot with seven points from five games while the visitors remain in third place with eight points from six games.
Both teams endured a nervy start and while Pune settled down sooner, the away side later picked up the tempo and threatened on the counter. Greek midfielder Kostas Katsouranis and winger Israil Gurung tried to make it happen for the hosts with their enterprise and running while the diminutive Korean Do Dong-Hyun managed to get himself into threatening positions time and again for the Highlanders but failed to make then count.
The home side managed to exert their dominance in the second session and Franco Colomba’s decision to withdraw David Trezeguet and replace him with Dudu Omagbemi in the 64th minute was a masterstroke. The introduction of the Nigerian striker gave the Pune attack added impetus. However, Hero of the match Rehenesh TP stood firm under the visitors’ bar. Once, when he was beaten defender Joan Capdevila stopped a Davide Colomba shot on the line.
Pune's perseverance finally paid off at the death when Dudu smashed an effort against the crossbar which rebounded kindly for Goossens to head into an empty net. The home side managed to hold on through five added on minutes for their second win of the tournament. Colomba was sent off for trying to delay a NorthEast throw in in the dying minutes of the match.
Pune now travel to Kolkata to face league leaders Atlético de Kolkata away on November 7 while Ricki Herbert’s battling side will play Chennaiyin FC away on November 8.