Japanese recruit Nishiguchi Daisuke shone for Pune FC as the hosts registered a 3-2 win over Mumbai FC in the Maha Derby I-League at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi on Thursday.
Daisuke scored in the seventh and 51st minutes while Jeje Lalpekhlua found the net in the 75th. Evaws Quao (17th) and ND Opara (26th) reduced the margin for Mumbai FC.
With this win, Pune FC have kept their slate clean with two back-to-back wins while Mumbai FC are yet to open their account.
Losing the rhythm in the game despite getting an early lead has been the main drawback of the Mumbai side. They were sitting pretty with a 2-1 cushion but lost track.
For Pune FC, the pint-sized man of the match Daisuke was all over the ground. He outplayed his lanky rivals’ defence, especially their skipper Abhishek Yadav, with his speed and control. Mumbai FC goalkeeper Kunal Sawant was good in the first session with three brilliant saves, but was off colour in the latter session.
“They are losing focus,” said Henry Picardo, Mumbai FC manager. “Sawant did a commendable job in the first half but he was also left wanting after the change of ends.”
Meanwhile, Pune FC coach Derrick Pereira was all praise for the Japanese striker. “He is a good player and has delivered at the right time. It is always a good feeling to win at home and more importantly in the initial stage of the league,” he said.
Daisuke put Pune FC ahead in the seventh minute when he tapped home Jeje’s pass from the right wing. However, the 3000-odd spectators’ joy was shortlived when Mumbai FC scored twice in a 10-minute span, both of the flag kicks. It was Quao, who nodded Nicholas Rodrigues flag kick in the 17th and nine minutes later, Opara made it 2-1 in Mumbai FC’s favour.
The first session was packed with action with Mumbai FC having a better say. Yadav was the pillar for the visitors as he marshalled the defence well. Kunal Sawant, under the Mumbai FC bar, must have given the visitors’ some reason to smile in the first session as he effected three good saves. Halfway through the match, Mumbai FC were leading 2-1.
After the change of ends, Daisuke gave the hosts a two-goal cushion in the 51st. Jeje put them ahead with 15 minutes for final whistle. A Daisuke pass inside the striking zone was volleyed home by Jeje.