Jackichand ends ATK’s unbeaten run

The home team hung on to the fastest goal scored in the second edition of ISL for 90 odd minutes and earned three big points; and ATK were beaten for the first time in four matches.

Jackichand Singh scored his first ISL goal as FC Pune City went top of the table.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

FC Pune City’s Jackichand Singh turned out to be a true pocket-sized dynamo, sending the well-filled Balewadi Stadium into raptures with a second minute left footer that crashed into the bottom corner; the goal stunned the Spanish goalkeeper Juan Sanchez, Atletico de Kolkata and raised the tempo of the match with the players of either teams just about warming up after the kick off.

The home team hung on to the fastest goal scored in the second edition of ISL for 90 odd minutes and earned three big points; and ATK were beaten for the first time in four matches.

The remarkable piece of action began with a diagonal cross from Costa Rica’s Yendrick Ruiz exactly at half way point on the right touch line. There was a slice of luck for Pune as a jumping Ofentse Nato headed the ball towards the penalty area; thereafter the ball found its way past defender Rino Anto, for Jackichand to bring his left foot into action just outside the penalty box.

Playing its fourth straight home match, the David Platt coached side notched its third win in four matches; all at the same venue and displaced the team it vanquished from top of the table. Jackichand’s goal excited the biggest crowd that had assembled on Saturday, spurred his team and the opponent into action.

Midfielder Arata Izumi and Canadian forward Iain Hume combined well on the left and compelled the reliable Pune custodian Steven Simonsen to be on guard. The trio of Englishmen - Simonsen and defenders Roger Johnson and Nicholas Shorey - once again combined well for the home team.

Pune felt aggrieved by referee Vishnu Chauhan not pointing to the penalty spot when Turkish star man Tuncay Sanli was brought down just inside the penalty area on the left. Not really given to emote, Platt gave vent to his disappointment.

There were other occasions for the home team to increase the tally, but Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Sanli were off target. Then ATK defender Arnab Mondal twice outsmarted his rivals in a goalmouth melee.

Suffering from cramps, Jackichand was replaced by Manish Maithani in the 60th minute after the injured Lenny Rodrigues was substituted by Bikash Jairu in the first half. Romanian Adrian Mutu came in for Sanli and the visitor made one change in the second half by bringing in South African Sameehg Doutie for Bostwanian Nato.

The Kolkata side pressed hard after the break and on occasions looked dangerous with Hume making a solid attempt, but once again Simonsen loomed large to block. Clearly the visitors were off colour for the better part of the match; and they did not recover from the second minute shocker

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