Delhi Dynamos move closer to semis with win over Pune City
Gustavo dos Santos kept Delhi Dynamos FC’s hopes of a semi-final berth alive with a piece of Brazilian magic and a late winner against FC Pune City at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Saturday night. The solitary goal win helps the capital city side leapfrog into fourth place with 17 points while the hosts slip to sixth with 16.
It was a rather even first period with both teams creating chances which neither could take advantage of. Pune were in command for the first period of the half when most of their forward play was through Korean Park Kwang-Il. The diminutive winger wasn't able to capitalise though. Delhi’s Mads Junker had the first good chance of the match when a corner was headed his way. All he had to do was tap it in but he was unable to find the finish. Jermaine Pennant had a 36th minute shot rattle off the post. Pune striker Dudu Omagbemi looked lively as usual but couldn't get past Kristof Van Hout in the Delhi goal as both teams went into half-time level.
The second half continued from where the first left off. Chances came in plenty for both sides. The home side looked slightly more comfortable as they pushed forward for a goal. For the visitors, dos Santos was the most vital player as he constantly troubled the home defence. Right back Adil Khan also stood firm for Delhi as he withstood a wave of Pune attacks. Dudu had multiple chances to put his team in front but was unable to take any of them. Dos Santos finally got the vital goal in the 88th minute. The Brazilian youngster ran down the right wing, cut in and fired an excellent shot into the far corner from a narrow angle. Pune pushed hard in the closing minutes but couldn't find the equaliser.
Delhi now need a victory in their final match away to Chennaiyin FC on December 9 to see through. Pune have a slim chance as well and will want to win against Kerala Blasters away on the same day.
Hero of the Match: Gustavo dos Santos (Delhi Dynamos FC) (Watch here)
Swift Moment of the Match: Jermaine Pennant (FC Pune City) (Watch here)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Kostas Katsouranis (FC Pune City)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Adil Khan (Delhi Dynamos FC)