Delhi Dynamos flayed FC Pune City 3-1 in the Indian Super League at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday to stay on course for a knockout spot. It was a flourishing performance by the home team, now unbeaten in the last five matches and climbing to second in the table behind FC Goa. Meanwhile, Pune’s dreadful away run continued with no win in 11 fixtures, its four victories coming at home.
After goals from Adil Nabi and Anas Edathodika in the first half, John Arne Riise slotted home a penalty in the closing stages to add salt to Pune’s wounds — the visitor lost Govin Singh following two yellow cards after he brought down Zodingliano Ralte inside the box. It, however, managed a consolation through Adrian Mutu in injury-time.
Dynamos thoroughly outplayed Pune with their pace and flair. They wreaked havoc in the first session, stretching their opponent with some relentless aggression. The tactics were apparent — harass the opposition and show no mercy when launching counterattacks.
A nonchalant Roberto Carlos executed his plans flawlessly. Pune was a mere spectator, taking punishment from both flanks where Adil Nabi and Robin Singh struck a lethal combination. Florent Malouda worked tirelessly with support from Anderson ‘Chicao’ Cardoso — the two set-piece strikes emanated from the left foot of Malouda, the flag-kicks floating into the box with precision and creating the scoring opportunity for his teammates.
The game was 35 minutes old when Dynamos, against the run of play, surged ahead and Nabi managed to put the ball into the box after a flurry at the goalmouth. After five minutes, Malouda was at it again from the other corner of the field — his floater was met strongly by an unmarked Edathodika. Goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya cut a sorry figure, while a lunging Didier Zokora couldn’t prevent the damage as the ball hit the back of the net.
Dynamos set the pace right from the kick-off. The game suffered on a few occasions when tempers rose in either camp. Pune was tentative against an authoritative Dynamos, who prospered through the electric presence of Malouda.
The only bright spot for Pune was Adrian Mutu’s sublime free-kick in injury-time which reduced the margin.
Delhi Dynamos 3 (Nabi 35, Anas 40, Riise 87-pen) bt FC Pune City 1 (Mutu 90).
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