ISL 2018-19: FC Pune City draws with ATK, out of playoff race

FC Pune City's hopes of sealing a playoff spot went up in smokes as it drew 2-2 with ATK in the Indian Super League on Sunday.

ATK's Edu Garcia scores from the spot during the Indian Super League clash against FC Pune City on Sunday.   -  ISL MEDIA

FC Pune City's chances of making it to the playoffs of the Indian Super League took a beating on Sunday as it played out a 2-2 draw with ATK at Pune's Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium.

The draw sees ATK lose the chance to move within a point of fourth-placed NorthEast United and will remain sixth on the ISL table with 21 points from 15 matches while Pune City's slim hopes of reaching the top-four have ended.

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With a victory the need of the hour for both sides, an end-to-end game of football unfolded and ATK came out all guns blazing.

Stankovic had an effort in the very second minute but his shot went inches over the bar. Garcia too came close when his shot from the edge of the box struck the crossbar on its way out.

Pune drew first blood when Marko Stankovic's shot distance took a wicked deflection off John Johnson’s trailing leg and nestled in the back of the net in the 17th minute. This was after Robin Singh laid the ball on a platter for the onrushing Stankovic.

However, the lead didn’t last long as Jayesh Rane broke down the left wing, cut in and curled an exquisite shot into the far top corner six minutes later. The goal gave ATK some much-needed confidence and the side began to take control of the match.

ATK's Jayesh Rane exults after scoring his side's opening goal of the evening.   -  ISL MEDIA


At the half hour mark, Everton Santos attempted an overhead kick which went inches over the bar from a Lanzarote free-kick. ATK upped the ante as it committed more men forward, while Pune preferred to sit back and hit on the counter.

Four minutes after the break, Pune had a fine chance when Iain Hume found Robin, whose first time shot produced a diving save from Arindam Bhattacharya in the ATK goal.

Just at the hour mark, Diego Carlos was adjudged to have handled the ball when going for a 50-50 ball with Everton. The resulting spot-kick was buried into the net by Edu Garcia, who scored his second goal in three games to put his team 2-1 ahead.

ATK was handed a setback soon after when Pronay Halder suffered an injury and had to be taken off for Eugeneson Lyngdoh. Steve Coppell's side was dealt with another body blow in the 76th minute when Robin headed in a corner from Marcelinho to pull Pune level.

Robin Singh earned FC Pune City a point after he drew parity in the 76th minute.   -  ISL MEDIA


The goal sparked an onslaught from the Stallions as Marcelinho forced two good saves from Bhattacharya in the last few minutes of the game. ATK threw on Kalu Uche in search of a winner, but the scoreline remained unchanged and both teams had to be content with a point each.

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