Visitors NorthEast United FC piled up more misery on FC Pune City as they beat the Stallions 2-0 in their own backyard at the Balewadi Stadium on Tuesday evening. In the process, the Highlanders maintained their winning run on the road intact. FC Pune City began with four overseas players, with star player Ian Hume making his first appearance in the season. They looked sharp on the set pieces early on but was unable to get past NEUFC custodian Pawan Kumar. The visitors, on the other hand, switched to a more direct 4-4-2 formation instead of the usual 4-2-3-1, with Gurwinder Singh starting in place of an injured Komorski at the heat of defense.
NorthEast United broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute thanks to Federico Gallego’s flat corner-kick which reached Ogbeche at the far post. The striker was able to hit the target despite the crowded defense and bagged his eighth goal of the season. In the second half, Pune raised the level of urgency in search of an equalizer. But a resilient NorthEast United backline stood firm to keep the scores level. Uruguayan playmaker Federico Gallego also kept the Pune defense busy and tried his luck with some long range shots.
After the end of regulation time, Sahil Panwar’s foul on Juan Cruz Mascia earned NorthEast a penalty which the striker converted to double the lead and kill the game off. With this result, NorthEast United continue their upward surge, climbing to 2nd on the points table with 17 points from 8 games while Pune City are eighth ranked out of ten teams earning just 5 points in 9 games.