Sissoko earns Pune a point against Kerala

Marquee player Momo Sissoko earned FC Pune City a point against Kerala Blasters after scoring a deflected effort in the second half.

Momo Sissoko (R) of FC Pune City and Azrack Mahamat of Kerala Blasters in action at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune.   -  SPORTZPICS

Cedric Hengbart’s shot in the third minute for Kerala Blasters and Mohammed Sissoko’s equaliser for FC Pune City in the 58th were the highlights of the drawn encounter in the Indian Super League at the Balewadi Stadium here on Monday.

After little over 90 minutes of a far from exciting match, the teams shared two points. It was a third consecutive 1-1 draw after the matches between Delhi Dynamos and NEUFC, and Atletico de Kolkata and FC Goa also ended in the same scoreline.

The Blasters were pleasantly surprised to find the mark in under three minutes when the 36-year-old Frenchman Hengbart made the most of an Azrack Mahamat left footer to leave the home supporters stunned and the Spanish coach Antonio Habas, watching the match from the stands, nonplussed. It was the fastest goal scored this season and the Blasters, with a first win in four matches recorded against Mumbai City FC in Kochi, were thrilled to be leading against the home team.

Hengbart provided the finish to a move that had started with a Josu Currais corner which was not propely cleared. The unmarked Chadian Mahamat smashed it towards goal from 25 yards and the deflected ball found its way towards Hengbart who finish it off with Edel Bete given no chance under the bar.

Down by the early goal, FC Pune City tried hard to restore parity and in the forefront of action was Mali’s Dramane Traore and Spain’s Jesus Tato. Both teams did not actually get going after the early goal but 13 minutes into the second half, Traore effected a brilliant header into the back of the net, but the offside flag was already raised by the linesman.

Of the two teams, FC Pune City appeared to be more energetic and keen to somehow find the target and there was always a chance that either Traore or Tato will deliver the equaliser. But as the game proceeded at some pace, Brazilian midfielder Jonatan Lucca directed the ball towards Sissoko whose shot was inadvertently deflected by Aaron Hughes into the far corner.

Some 18 minutes from time, Blasters’ substitute Farukh Chaudhary was foiled by a splendid effort by goalkeeper Bete. The action began with Antonio German's shot going up and towards the Pune goal. The alert Chaudhary attempted a header that Bete saved.

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