FC Pune City won the Maha Derby against Mumbai FC by a 3-1 scoreline, on the third day of the Hero Indian Super League at Balewadi sports complex in Pune on Monday.
Tuncay Sanli scored in the 12th and 56th minutes while Gurung chipped in with one of his own during the 68th for Pune. Frederic Piquionne scored the lone goal for the visitors in the 34th minute.
David Platt’s preferred four Indians were Manish Maithani, Israil Gurung, Gujinder Singh and seasoned campaigner Lenny Rodrigues in the first eleven on the day. All the four justified their place in the team Especially the lanky Rodrigues who spearheaded the midfield combining well with skipper Didier Zakora, Tuncay Sanli and James Bailey.
English keeper Steven Simonsen was outstanding under the bars. It was a very strong selection with six midfielders and just Sanli as lone forward in the list. Platt opted for a foreign custodian in Simonsen. Collotto, Gurjinder, Gouramangi and Nick Shorey were the defenders. Bailey, Maithani, Israil Gurung, Zokora and Rodrigues formed the five-man midfield while Tuncay Sanli led the attack.
Mumbai FC went with five Indian players. In the absence of Subrata Paul and Sunil Chettri the five-member Indian players were Albino Gomes in goal along with Ashutosh Mehta, Keegan Pereira, Pratesh Shirodkar and Gabriel Fernandes. With player cum coach Nicolas Anelka out on the bench, Defender Frantz Bertin was handed the skipper's armband.
Pratesh Shirodkar and Aguilera were the two playmakers with Andre Moritz, Sony Norde and Piquionne leading the attack.
It was very clear before the match that Anelka was not going to feature from the start as he didn’t warm up with the players as instead strolling about speaking to the players and moving among them. The format in which the team took the field was a clear indication that the teams wanted to share points rather than returning empty handed. Anelka handed a debut to Albino Gomes in goal, with Mehta, Pereira, Bertin and Cmovs in the defence.
Mumbai did not look like a match winning side on paper, but it was they who made the first positive move. In the 7th minute, Pratesh won the ball in the midfield against Lenny and found Ashutosh Mehta who passed it to Piquionne who passed the ball on to Gabriel Fernandes but the former FC Goa attacking midfielder shot straight at Simonsen.
However, it was FC Pune City who scored the first goal. It was the Turkish forward Tuncay who got off the mark. On a counterattack, Lenny Rodrigues found Shorey. The winger then played the ball to Israil Gurung who in turn just about got the ball to Tuncay who leaped to nod home, in the 12th min. It was Mehta’s fault for not tracking Tuncay's run but the score was 1-0 in Pune’s favour and Lenny looking impressive, displaying much more confidence this season.
Mumbai were seeing more of the ball but were unable to create anything notable. In the 28th minute, Moritz found Gabriel who beats Gurjinder and in the box. His cross was cleared in time by the experienced Diego Colotto. The ball fell to Sony Norde whose shot came off the post, unluckily for the former Mohun Bagan striker.
The Frenchman Piquionne who had been wasteful minutes earlier for Mumbai made up by equalising just after Norde’s missed shot to make it 1-1. The entire Pune defence was caught napping as Mehta sent in a peach of a cross for Piquionne who headed it in from close range.
Mumbai did have many close calls. In the 43rd minute, Juan Aguilar did well under pressure and crossed towards the far post. Piquionne attempted a bicycle kick and missed. The ball though floated over to Sony Norde who took a touch and shot over.
James Bailey made way for Yendrick Ruiz to make his debut for Pune City. Platt finally got some support up front a welcome support for Tuncay after the change of ends. Pune got their second booking of the game this time for skipper Didier Zokora.
Tuncay then struck again for Pune, however, the credit should go to Zokora who initiated the move. He spotted Lenny, and the former Churchill man found Gurung, who passed to Tuncay who did the rest, in the 56th minute for Pune to forge ahead 2-1.
Mumbai should have scored at least a couple more with the chances they created. Gurung who was instrumental in the two goals got his due in the 68th minute. Mutu who replaced Tuncay in the 60th minute made his presence felt. Gurung spotted Mutu and crossed, but the ball dipped into the far post making the score 3-1.