Delhi Dynamos vs Pune City: Talking points

The match five of the Indian super League between Delhi Dynamos FC and FC Pune City ended in a 1-1 draw.

Rana Gharami of Delhi Dynamos FC celebrates after scoring a goal against FC Pune City.   -  SPORTZPICS

The match five of the Indian super League between Delhi Dynamos FC and FC Pune City ended in a 1-1 draw.

Here are the three talking points of the match:

1. 21-year-old Ashique Kuruniyan was FC Pune City's biggest positive from its opening match of the new season. An FCPC academy product, Ashique had been in the news early this year with a loan spell in Spain with Villareal C. Though Pune is well stocked in the attacking department, a suspension to its captain Marcelino and Iain Hume still recovering from an injury meant that the youngster from Kerala was handed a start on the left wing and he made the most of it. He caused Delhi problems right from the kick-off and got into good positions. Pune could've been up by a couple of goals had the chances been converted. With Marcelino set to be back in the team and Hume a few weeks away from full fitness - and new signing Nikhil Poojari waiting for his chance to impress - Ashique did enough to be in Miguel Angel Portugals thoughts as the season progresses.

2. Delhi Dynamos had an underwhelming season last year, finishing eighth. The team's decision to let Kalu Uche, its top scorer with 13 goals from 15 games, go did not make a lot of sense. And going by the lack of cohesion in its attacking play against Pune, it could be a decision that will backfire in the coming weeks. Going by the game last night, Andrija Kaludjerovic, Uche's replacement, didn't look like an adequate replacement for the prolific Nigerian. The team will hope that it's attackers will start chipping in with their share of goals as wonder goals do not happen every game.

3. Delhi has a good defensive unit and Pune's attacking lineup is one of the best in the country. But both will need their defensive and attacking units, respectively, to function more fluently if they are to reach the playoffs. Delhi has a solid defence on paper, but there were moments in the game where it looked like its defenders weren't on the same wavelength. Pune managed to get behind its defence a couple of times and, on another day, Delhi could've been trailing by a couple of goals early in the game. Similarly, Pune's attack had been rightly praised last season and before the new season kicked off, but a suspension to its talismanic captain took the fluidity out of its attack. Alfaro looked isolated up front and often found the final ball beyond his reach. Marcelino's return for the next game could make life easier for Pune going forward.