ISL 2018-19: Marcelo on target as Pune downs Blasters

Marcelo Pereira, once Indian Super League's top scorer, found the net against Kerala Blasters in the 20th minute to help FC Pune City to its second win of the season.

Anas Edathodika (#15) and Marcelo Pereira vie for the ball.   -  H.Vibhu

He may have scored just one goal prior to this match this season but Marcelo Pereira can be a very dangerous man. Two years ago, playing for Delhi Dynamos, the Brazilian topped the Indian Super League scorers’ chart. And the 31-year-old was back at the job on Friday night as FC Pune City defeated Kerala Blasters 1-0 at the Nehru Stadium here in Kochi.

This was a match which the Blasters needed to win badly but all that the home boys could show was a series of misses. And Pune, which came into the game on the back of two straight losses, walked away with the honours with Pereira making all the difference.

AS IT HAPPENED | Kerala Blasters 0 - 1 FC Pune City

Pereira appeared dangerous all through the 50 minutes he was on stage. And he came up with some smart play. In the seventh minute, while central defender Lakic Pesic attempted to keep Iain Hume — ISL’s all-time top-scorer — on a tight leash, Pereira run into the box after dodging a defender but his left-footed shot was well saved by the Blasters goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh.

100
 

But the Brazilian found the net in the 20th minute. Pune players had looked dangerous whenever they moved up through the left flank and during one such move, Ashique Kuruniyan sent a pass to Pereira.

Defender Anas Edathodika desperately attempted to stop the Brazilian's shot from inside the box but the ball deflected off his leg, rose over Dheeraj and went into the right corner.

Blasters appeared a shade superior early in the opening half but the home boys could not convert their superiority into goals, with Serbian striker Slavisa Stojanovic shooting wide a couple of times. But early in the second half, there were a few occasions when their attacks appeared to lack vigour.

100

Sahal Abdul Samad connects with a cross from a corner.   -  ISL

 

With the clocking ticking fast, the Blasters came up with up many attempts towards the end to save the game. C.K. Vineeth, who made his entry in the second half, Stojanovic and Sahal Abdul Samad all had their chances.

But the Pune defence, which had leaked in the most number of goals this season (21), looked better tonight and in the end, the Blasters could only rue their missed chances.

The result: Kerala Blasters FC 0 - 1 to FC Pune City (Marcelo Pereira 20')