Robin on song as Pune drub Jamshedpur at the Furnace

FC Pune City beat Jamshedpur FC 4-1 at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Saturday to keep themselves alive in the top four race. For Cesar Ferrando’s Jamshedpur side, the result was a huge blow to their play-off ambitions as they find themselves four points adrift of the top four with just two matches remaining.

The result also means Bengaluru FC becomes the first team to qualify for the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 play-offs. The Blues, currently on 31 points, will go through even if they lose all their remaining three matches.

  • Robin Singh scored to put Pune in front on the 17th minute.
  • Marcelo Pereira doubled Pune’s lead just before the half-time whistle.
  • Robin scored his second goal of the night on the 65th minute, before Ashique Kuruniyan made it 4-0 five minutes later.
  • Carlos Calvo pulled a goal back for Jamshedpur from the penalty spot on the 76th minute.

With his three-match suspension over, Carlos Calvo found himself straight back in the Jamshedpur starting line-up and almost stamped his authority on the match immediately. With just a couple of minutes on the clock, the Spaniard floated in a beautiful cross at the far post from the left. Farukh Choudhary managed to get his feet to the cross but couldn't direct the ball goalwards.

There was a nice tempo to the match in the opening few minutes as both teams looked to play quick passes to break down the opposition. Iain Hume managed to have a crack at the Jamshedpur goal from inside the box but Tiri was aware and blocked off the Canadian's stinging drive.

On the other end, Mario Arques was successful in diverting Calvo's corner kick on target, but Marko Stankovic had taken up a good position at the near post to keep the ball out. Seconds later, Arques saw his long-range shot hit the woodwork.

Pune, too, responded with their own forward ventures. After a goalmouth scramble which saw Subrata Paul keep out Diego Carlos and Iain Hume hit the crossbar from the follow-up, Robin Singh got hold of the ball and slotted it into the net to give the Stallions a lead. It was Robin's second goal on a trot, having scored the late equaliser to earn Pune a point in their last match against ATK.

The match was turning out to be a feisty affair, with some end to end football on display. Farukh could have brought the home team level just before the half-hour mark when Sergio Cidoncha found the young striker's run with a nice pass. The 22-year-old, however, rushed his effort and squandered the opportunity.

Jamshedpur began throwing men forward in a bid to grab an equaliser and paid dearly for their gung-ho approach. Hume recycled the ball in midfield to initiate a counter attack and played a long through ball for Marcelo Pereira to chase down. Subrata advanced from his goal in an attempt to clear the ball, but his touch wasn’t sufficient. With the goalkeeper well off his line, Marcelo had an empty net to aim for, but a tight angle to do it from. The Brazilian showed his class and finished in style to make it 2-0 just before the half-time whistle.

Five minutes after the restart, Diego Carlos thought he had made it 3-0, as his shot squeezed under Subrata and into the net. However, the goal was disallowed due to the referee deeming that Robin Singh was interfering with the play from an offside position.

With Jamshedpur looking for some sort of an inspiration, Ferrando brought on Michael Soosairaj in place of defender Augustin Fernandes in an attempt to up the ante in attack. With Bikash Jairu replacing Dhanachandra Singh on the 57th minute, the only specialist defender left on the field for Jamshedpur was Tiri. Ferrando’s intention of going all-in was clearly evident.

However, the move eventually backfired for the hosts as Pune looked comfortable at the back and looked to capitalize on counter-attacks. The Stallions would eventually go on to score a third goal, albeit in controversial fashion. Ashique Kuruniayn played in Robin from the left and the striker made sure he beat Subrata to score his second of the match. Jamshedpur players appealed that the ball might have gone out of play before Ashique’s pass, but the referee ruled the goal fair. Things only got worse for Jamshedpur minutes later, as Ashique sidefooted Marcelo’s assist in to make it 4-0.

Jamshedpur pulled a goal back on the 76th minute through a penalty. The referee pointed towards the sport after Martin Diaz’s hand hit the ball in the Pune box and Calvo slotted the spot kick past Kamaljit Singh to make it 4-1. The goal, however, wasn’t enough to inspire a miraculous comeback and the scoreline remained the same till the final whistle.

HERO OF THE MATCH – Robin Singh

Robin Singh was a physical presence at the top end of the pitch for the Stallions and capped off his performance with a well-taken brace. His incredible performance on the night made him the deserved Hero of the Match.

CLUB AWARDS

Club Award – FC Pune City

Swift Limitless Player of the Match – Marcelo Pereira

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Iain Hume

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Sahil Panwar

Hero of the Match – Robin Singh

WHAT’S NEXT?

Jamshedpur will be on the road to play against Chennaiyin FC on February 23, while Pune’s next outing will be against NorthEast United FC at Guwahati on February 20.

Watch the match highlights here:

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