Chennai: Riding on Marcelinho's double strike, FC Pune City beat a struggling Chennaiyin FC 2-1 at the Nehru stadium on Saturday, to boost their chances of qualifying for the play-offs. Pune City are in seventh position on the points table with 14 from 13 game while defending champion Chennaiyin are last with five points from 14 games following a 11th defeat this season.
It was an exciting contest as both the teams created a lot of opportunities as the home side scored the opening goal of the match. CK Vineeth blasted it past the Pune goalkeeper to give the home side a 1-0 lead in the 55th minute. However, Chennai failed to hold on to the slender lead, as Pune picked themselves up and scored twice just five minutes after conceeding the goal.
After a goalless first half, the host went ahead in the 55th minute as new signing C K Vineeth scored only to see Pune City hit back with two quick strikes. The game came alive for a period of five minutes which saw three goals being scored.
The second half began just like the first one and the initial 10 minutes looked like the game was going to go goalless till the end but a deflected shot landed fortunately at the feet of Vineeth, who slotted the ball home easily to help his team take the lead. The advantage though did not last long as Marcelino shot at goal was not completely saved and the ball crept through inside the goal.
And a minute later, it became even worse for the hosts as the Pune City star doubled his and his team's goal tally for the night. Anirudh Thapa had replaced Andrea Orlandi for the hosts and new manager Phil Brown made three changes from the last time FC Pune City played, a 2-0 win over Goa on 11 December 2018. Sahil Panwar, Marko Stankovic and Deigo Carlos found a place in the starting XI.