Diego Carlos cancelled out Rana Gharami’s stunner as Pune City held Delhi Dynamos to a 1-1 draw in their Indian Super League season 5 opener at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Both sides made their intent clear in the opening few minutes, putting more men in attacks. But it was Delhi who had the first proper opportunity when Nandhakumar found himself with acres of space on the edge of the Pune City box, his shot though sailed over the bar. The hosts were, however, relentless in their attacks and it brought fruit in the 44th minute when Gharami blasted the net with a long ranger. It also made the 27-year-old center-back the first Indian to score a goal this season.
Marcos Tebar found Gharami a little ahead of the half-line, who ran unopposed before rifling the ball into the net leaving Pune goalkeeper Vishal Keith stranded on goal.
Pune forward Emiliano Alfaro was left as a lone figure for most of the first half and continued the same after the restart. Star footballer Marcelinho, who served a one-match suspension was sorely missed as chances dried up for the visitors, who continued chasing the game.
Their first big chance of the second half came in the 79th minute through Jonathan Villa, whose shot was brilliantly saved by a diving Delhi goalkeeper Francisco Dorronsoro. But Pune’s continued surge for a goal finally paid off nine minutes later as substitute Carlos found the net after playing a two-touch football with Alfaro.
The Brazilian found Alfaro with a path-breaking pass inside the Delhi box with the Uruguayan striker returning the ball for Carlos to finish and salvage a draw for his side.
Delhi though had their chances to score and should have sealed the victory five minutes before Carlos’ goal but Ganni Zuiverloon failed to direct his volley on target from a Narayan Das free-kick. Lallianzuala Chhangte then found himself through on goal after some smart-play between him and Andrija Kaluderovic, but the 21-year-old fired straight at goalkeeper Keith.
Image Source: ISL