ISL: Late Sereno header powers Chennaiyin past Pune

An 82nd minute winner from captain Henrique Sereno gave Chennaiyin FC a 1-0 win over FC Pune City at the Balewadi stadium on Sunday.

Action from the Indian Super League clash between Chennaiyin FC and FC Pune City on Sunday.   -  Prashant Nakwe

Henrique Sereno rose above the FC Pune City defence to score a towering match-winning header for Chennaiyin FC in the 82nd minute, as the visiting side earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at the Balewadi stadium on Sunday.  

Vishal Kaith manned the posts for the home side and made many a good save until then and could only watch as the CFC captain Sereno buried his header off a corner kick. PCFC coach Ranko Popovic gave Vishal his first start of the ISL season, with Kamaljit Singh having guarded the goal for the first three matches.


Earlier, Francisco Fernandes came close to scoring for CFC, only to see his effort cleared off the goal-line by Pune's Raphael Gomez. Jerry Lalrinzuala floated the ball into the goalmouth from the left flank and the ball slipped out of Vishal’s gloves, leaving Francisco with a great chance to tap in, only for Raphael to stage a heroic save.

Defences at both ends were kept on their heels, as Pune's Marcelino and Emilano Alfaro, and CFC's Jeje Lalpekhlua and Raphael Augusto threatened to score.

Two efforts stood out in the early stages, which was littered with fouls and saw CFC's Inigo Calderon pick up a yellow card. Dhanpal Ganesh got a look at goal but sent his effort wide, while at the other end Marcelino was put through by Adil Khan, but the Brazilian's shot found the side netting.

The CFC backline kept a close watch on Alfaro and Marcelino through the first half. Alfaro former managed to find the back of the net but was ruled off-side. The latter got into position for a shot at goal with his left-foot, but sliced the ball away from the post.

CFC now has two wins from three games, while FCPC lost its second tie in four games.

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