FC Pune City kicked off matchday five of the Indian Super League by welcoming league leaders Bengaluru FC to the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. Both the teams came off identical 1-0 wins in their last round of fixtures and went head to head in search of being the top dog in the league.


Despite losing two of their last three home fixtures, FC Pune City coach, Ranko Popovic, termed his team to be the favourites. The starting opening minutes of the match, however, told an entirely different story.


Bengaluru FC wanted to keep hold of the ball from the start, and for the opening minutes, it was all Bengaluru. Pune looked slightly scrappy at the back and if it weren't for a fantastic last-ditch tackle, Bengaluru FC captain, Sunil Chhetri, would've been through on goal.


Pune also created some chances and came close to taking the lead by almost forcing a mistake from BFC stopper, Ralte. After the opening set of exchanges, Pune had created the better chances despite having less of the ball. The middle of the first half saw some aimless passes from both the teams, very few of them reaching the final third of the pitch.



35 minutes on the clock, and it was the home side who landed the first blow. A perfect ball from the left by Issac found the surprisingly unmarked Adil Khan in the middle, who headed it home from close range. Pune had scored from the first shot they've had on target. Bengaluru tried to come back right back in it, but couldn't find it in themselves to get the equaliser before halftime. 



The second half saw Bengaluru upping the ante from the gate. They hurried Pune off the ball and were drawing fouls at will. Pune were pushed on the back-foot and BFC had the whole team inside Pune's half. However, the game only turned on its head after Baljit Sahani got marching orders after picking his second yellow. 


Pune were down to 10 men and it only looked like a matter of minutes before BFC broke Pune's resistance. 67 minutes in, and Miku made BFC's numerical superiority count by rounding off a fantastic counter-attack. 1-1! 




Bengaluru got the goal they wanted, but they wanted nothing less than all the points on offer. And once again it was the same man who had punished the home side minutes earlier. Miku smartly made the best out of the situation, as everyone inside the box paused for a handball appeal. 1-2! 




Pune tried to play on the counters for the next part of the match, but Sahani's absence was visibly hurting them. There was an appeal for a penalty by the home side, which was promptly dismissed by the match official. And to rub salt into the wound, Bengaluru added another goal in the fifthth minute of the injury time. Sunil Chhetri had a nice little give and go with Toni before chipping the oncoming keeper. 



1-3 the scoreline read at the end of the match, as Bengaluru finished the match with 61% of the possession and eight shots on target, a fair reflection of how the tie had progressed after Sahani's dismissal. Bengaluru go at the top of the table, and considering the form they're in, it'll take something special for the challengers to get the better of them.