Adrian Mutu earns a point for Pune

Adrian Mutu salvaged his reputation as a marquee striker, with a stylish left-footed equaliser in injury time, as FC Pune City clawed back against a confident FC Goa to earn a 2-2 draw in ISL 2015’s ninth game at the Balewadi stadium.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh of FC Pune City runs to celebrate his goal during match 33 of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 2 between FC Pune City and FC Goa held at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune.   -  Sportzpics

Adrian Mutu salvaged his reputation as a marquee striker, with a stylish left-footed equaliser in injury time, as FC Pune City clawed back against a confident FC Goa to earn a 2-2 draw in ISL 2015’s ninth game at the Balewadi stadium.

Indian midfielder Eugenson Lyngdoh was on target for the home team in the 32nd minute, but Rafael Coelho struck the equaliser for Goa before Jonatan Lucca put the visitors ahead. However, there was late drama in Pune, when their marquee signing Mutu thumped a left-footed volley to help his team draw level.

The result meant FC Goa remain on the summit with 15 points, followed closely by FC Pune City, who are just a point behind in second place.

Manager Zico started with five foreigners in the playing squad — Brazilians Lucio, Leo Moura, Rafael, Lucca and Frenchman Gregory Arnolin. Nigerian Dudu Omagbemi, drafted in as cover for the injured Darryl Duffy, watched from the dugout. Home team manager David Platt started with star signing Mutu as the sole forward.

Mutu almost got his team to a dream start with a swerving free-kick which was saved by Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani. But it was Ivorian Didier Zokora who made the difference for FC Pune City, after he made a great run through the heart of Goa’s defence and teed up Lyngdoh for a simple finish. But Goa responded quickly and equalised through a solo effort from Coelho.

FC Goa capitalised on the momentum shift and went ahead when Lucca’s shot took a deflection and wrong-footed goalkeeper Simonsen. Both coaches showed their ambitions later on and brought in changes to alter the match in their favour. Zico brought in Dudu upfront in place of scorer Rafael and Mandar Dessai for Haokip. Platt introduced Dutch midfielder Wesley Verhoek in place of defender James Bailey, Bikash Jairu for Jackichand Singh and Tuncay Sanli for the very impressive Didier Zokora.

Pune enjoyed greater possession as Goa tried to shut the game down with a tighter defence but the pressure paid dividends when former Chelsea striker Adrian Mutu thumped in a volley to equalise for the home team in the dying minutes of the match.

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