FC Pune City hold Delhi Dynamos to goalless draw

Hosts Delhi Dynamos FC were held to a goalless draw by FC Pune City in the third game of the Hero Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium tonight. This is the first match in the competition to end in a draw.

Although Delhi Dynamos were the better side and enjoyed greater possession and chances, Pune City goalkeeper Emanuele Belardi kept them at bay with some fine saves. Even the introduction of the peerless Alessandro Del Piero failed to break the deadlock in favour of the hosts though the Italian legend sparkled in bits and pieces after he came on in the 37th minute.

The match started off cautiously, with either team trying to get a measure of their opponent. As time progressed, the game started getting into a good rhythm, with Pune City’s French forward David Trezeguet and Delhi Dynamos’ Mads Junker testing the goalkeepers early on. With the Delhi attackers gradually combining better than their counterparts, Francis Fernandes found himself in the thick of things a couple of times, most significantly when he scuffed a cut back into his path by Mads Junker. Hans Mulder had a go from distance after being played in by Del Piero, but his effort went just wide of Pune keeper Belardi.

Belardi was tested in the second half again, and came off his line to deny Junker once more. Pune were pinned in their half most of the time, with the Delhi centre backs playing high up the pitch, and were almost made to pay on the counter, when Lenny Rodrigues sent in a searching low cross for substitute Dudu Omagbemi, but the Dynamos’ defenders tracked back just in time to avert the danger.

As time wore on, the game started getting stretched, as players started showing signs of fatigue. Delhi introduced Brazilian Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos to take advantage of the situation, and minutes later justified his substitution, almost giving Delhi the lead when he hit the far post. The match petered away towards the end even as Del Piero picked up the Amul Hero of the match award for providing his team the spark needed to almost secure victory.

The Dynamos travel to Kolkata next on October 19 to take on current leaders Atlético de Kolkata, while FC Pune City take on state rivals Mumbai City FC on October 18 in Mumbai, both teams searching for their first win in the competition.

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