FC PUNE CITY LOST TO Chennaiyin FC at home due to a late goal by Sereno in this evening's ISL 2017-18 clash at Balewadi.
Coming off a win against Mumbai City, Pune City made a cagey start against Chennaiyin FC who had demonstrated their attacking prowess in the 3-0 win they notched up against NorthEast United.
There was a constant effort from the home team to impede the flow of the opponent team's attack through tackles and man marking. An early move by Jerry saw Nelson run up to take position but Rafa blocked his path. They collided and the referee awarded a free kick against Nelson. Minutes later, Jerry was tackled hard by Baljit Sahni, and had to receive treatment in the sidelines.
After Chennaiyin FC failed to convert their first corner due to Dhanpal Ganesh heading Nelson's delivery wide, frustration and tempers started showing. Jerry who had returned to action brought down Diego; Alfaro and Bikramjit also got into an argument as the game heated up.
Calderon got booked for a rash foul. As Pune took the free kick, Alfaro got hold of the ball and launched a counter. His pass reached Rafa who aimed at the far post and just about missed it.
Marcelinho drew a great save from Chennaiyin keeper Karanjit Singh in what was one of the game's first shots on target. As the half hour mark approached, Baljit Sahni's cross was played towards the target by Alfaro. Karanjit saved it, and Alfaro knocked the rebounding ball into the net, but the offside flag had gone up; the goal did not count.
Bikramjkit Singh tested Vishal Kaith with a brilliant shot aimed at a corner which Kaith kept out with a flying save, but that was an offside too.
Seconds before half time, Marcelinho got a clear shot at goal but sent it just over the crossbar.
The physical game continued early in the second half; Sereno was booked for bringing Alfaro down. Then Adil Khan also got a yellow card for a foul. At the hour mark even Dhanpal Ganesh went on the referee's book.
Soon afterwards, Jerry played a great cross into the box from the right, and Vishal Kaith got caught off position by it. The ball rolled past dangerously close to the goal line and Rafa had to make a despearate clearance, and Chennaiyin players were appealing hard believing that the ball had actually crossed the line. The referee didn't budge.
The same back and forth went on as the game was limited to fouls and tackles near the midfield, as neither team wanted to take a risk. It was a while before Pune created another clear cut chance; Alfaro chased a ball and ran past the defenders, but his shot was nowhere near the target.
With the game entering its last 10 minutes, Jude who had come on as a substitute won a corner for Chennaiyin FC. Gavilan deliverd the ball and Sereno headed it straight in, nutmegging Kean Lewis in the processs. It was a poor goal to concede for Pune, but the job was done for Chennaiyin FC. Despite multiple attempts, Pune City failed to find an equalizer, and the match ended with a 0-1 victory for CFC.
With this win, Chennaiyin FC have risen to the second spot in the points table with 6 points from 3 matches, while Pune City have had their two match winning streak ruined due to some missed chances and a defensive error. The Stallions are thir on the table - for now. They have 6 points from 4 matches.
Pune City have a week to recover from this loss and correct their defensive issues, while Chennaiyin FC will take confidence from this win when they face ATK at home on Thursday.
Get the latest in the world of Sports, Teams, and Players! Free Delivery to your Inbox.