ISL 2017: Mumbai City FC coach Alexandre Guimaraes rues penalty decision against FC Pune City
The Stallions won the bragging rights in a hotly contested derby.
FC Pune City managed a brilliant second-half comeback to earn all three points against Mumbai City FC in the first Maharashtra derby of ISL 2017. A 2-1 win over the Islanders gave Pune their second consecutive win with Emiliano Alfaro scoring a brace for the hosts. Balwant Singh scored a brilliant goal for Mumbai to open the proceedings but a spot kick and a stoppage-time goal meant Pune went away as the happy side.
It was a hard fought game right from the word go with tackles flying all around and the players displaying a proper feel of the derby. Mumbai City had a couple of penalty shouts which were denied by the referee. Manager Alexandre Guimaraes was distraught by the performance of the referee and felt hard done by.
After the match, he reflected, "One decision changed the whole game for us. (I am) very clear about what happened. We played a good game and thought we deserved something out of this match. This loss is a difficult one to swallow!"
Guimaraes added that his team controlled the game in midfield and was happy with the performance. But, the Stallions boss, Ranko Popovic denied his colleague's claims and said that his side deserved the three points. The Serbian revealed, "Anyone present at the stadium could tell who was the better team. We created the chances, controlled the match and were dominant. Diego (Carlos) was twice fouled in the penalty incident."
Popovic added that despite playing three games in seven days, his team was energetic on the field and created a huge number of chances. Pune did have 57% possession in the match and attempted over 500 passes in the game, compared to Mumbai's 337. The Stallions made good use of their right flank with Diego Carlos utilising the space created because of Mumbai's back three system.
For the winning side, Emiliano Alfaro starred with a brace which takes his tally to five goals in season 4. The Uruguayan was happy with the result and said after the game, "After going one nil down, we had to find a way. The substitutions were brilliant and we managed to make a good come back. We were the best side on the field and now have to build on this exciting start."
FC Pune City now face Chennaiyin FC at home on December 3 whereas Mumbai City travel to Kochi to face Kerala Blasters on the same day.