It didn’t go too well for caretaker gaffer Pradyum Reddy in his first game for FC Pune City on Sunday. A 4-2 loss to FC Goa in a game that had two halves with plenty of talking points. This time it’s Kerala Blasters who are on the opposite side of the pitch at the tongue-twisting Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex (try saying that fast ten times).
Reddy, set, no
So then. That Goa match. Let’s have a closer look at Reddy’s nightmare opener.
All six goals came in the first half. First, Goa took the lead after five minutes before Pune equalised three minutes later. They then promptly proceeded to crumbled like a cookie dropped into a glass of milk and let in two more goals in the next 12 minutes. Uruguayan veteran Emiliano Alfaro pulled one back in the 23rd minute but Coro gave Goa the two-goal advantage back ten minutes before halftime.
Over in the second half, it wasn’t much better for Pune as they missed a penalty. Alfaro went down very easily and his following penalty was saved brilliantly. Then all hell ensued in the final five minutes of the match. First Diego got himself sent off with four minutes to go and then goalscorer Coro got his marching orders in the 90th minute.
Blasters doing their usual thing
Now let’s look at Kerala Blasters last outing, and I don’t like to honk my own horn, but if I could, for a moment, drag your attention to this sentence from my preview of the Kerala vs Jamshedpur game:
“With both sides being draw experts, and low scoring affairs for the most part at that, this game should end 1-1 or 2-2 at most.”
Want to know the final score? Of course, you do! It ended 2-2 and for once it was Kerala who dealt out the heartbreaks as they scored their second goal in the 86th minute. Usually, it’s been them getting their hearts broken, but this time they showed great spirit and came back from a 2-0 deficit in the first half.
Marcelinho the key for Pune success?
We saw Pune pressing high against Goa and if they could do something like that against Kerala it could be the key to success. One Pune City player that looked like he actually wanted to be out on that pitch was Marcelinho. The 31-year-old looked very fresh and up for it despite the result and never gave up chasing down balls and generally being a nuisance for the Goa defence.
He probably deserved more than just the lonely goal he got last time out. His skills on the ball are easily among the top of the league and he can create problems for the most talented defender, who’s often only left with one option, to bring him to ground and take the free kick.
So how will this game go then, is there light at the end of the tunnel for Pune or is that an oncoming train painted in yellow and blue?
Every bad run has to end at some point. Well, that point can be very far away still for Pune. Despite drawing results more than the person who hosts the regular bingo nights draws numbers out of that spinning wheel, Kerala will probably give Pune an L4, that’s L4, for loss number four in a row.