Tag: Marcelinho

FC Pune City has a team for playoffs, says Iain Hume

Pune: In a team that has likes of Emiliano Alfaro, Marcelinho, adding Iain Hume makes it the most potent striking force. FC Pune City’s Iain Hume feels with him and the new players added, the team can surely do something they haven’t done in the past.

“To be honest, two (Alfaro and Marcelinho) of them for the last two years and myself for four years, we score goals, we work hard for the team. So I think everyone will expect us to keeping scoring goals and win the league but that isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be a lot more competitive league this year. We are just going to continuing doing what we have for our teams and maybe do something for the team that we haven’t in the past,” said Hume on the sidelines of his team’s pre-season training in Goa.

The Canadian striker is Indian Super League’s highest goal-scorer with 28 goals in 59 appearances moved from Kerala Blasters FC to the Pune franchise earlier this season. For him, getting back on his feet is the biggest target than maintaining his top billing. “FC Pune City is doing everything to make me fit and that’s what my plan is, to get back to playing games,” said Hume.

For now, Hume is undergoing a strict recovery regime but seeing his club’s current squad in the pre-season, he is confident of the club making it to playoffs to begin with. “We have a right mix of experience and youth in the side and realistically we should look for a spot in playoffs and from their look at going into the finals,” Hume said.

He feels his addition along with other signings should influence the side in going that one step further. “Adding myself and couple of others, we are hoping that we can influence a little bit and who knows maybe go a step further than semifinals or maybe more,” Hume explained.

Ask him about Kerala and the prospect of facing his former side in Kochi, Hume is quick to profess his love and respect for the fans there. “I know the Kerala fans are incredible and they follow their team everywhere. The love and respect is mutual and I know it’s going to be hard to go there and play for us, but we have got a squad which is confident of achieving good results,” concluded Hume.

ISL 4: Pune City fight back to go on top

Pune: Emiliano Alfaro scored his first goal after a long five game drought and Gurtej Singh logged his first ever goal in the Indian Super League as FC Pune City fought back from a goal down in first 45 minutes to defeat Jamshedpur FC 2-1 and take the top spot at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium, Pune, on Wednesday.

Jamshedpur probably would have believed momentarily, they were on their way to the top four for the first time when the recent recruit Wellington Priori gave them a 29th minute lead.

However, fortunes changed in the second half as Pune City came back into the match and took full points with goals from Gurtej Singh (62nd minute) and Emiliano Alfaro (66th minute).

The three points were crucial for Pune City as they returned to the top of the table with 22 points from 12 matches, now ahead of Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC, both of whom have a match in hand. Jamshedpur are placed fifth with 16 points and were left to rue their missed opportunity to move into the top four.

Much of the home team’s victory today can be attributed to a smart double substitution from Pune City coach Ranko Popovic, who returned to the dug-out for the first time after serving a four-match suspension.

With the match drifting out of their hand, Popovic chose to make a double substitution at half time as he brought in Marko Stankovic (for Jonatan Lucca) and Sarthak Golui (for Isaac Vanmalsawma).

The change worked as Pune City had more thrust going forward and they managed to cancel the first half goal scored by Wellington. It was a howler from the goalkeeper in the 29th minute that allowed Jamshedpur to surge ahead as Vishal Kaith clashed with his own player and allowed Wellington a free aim at goal. Wellington took that chance and scored with the outside of his foot.

In the second session, Pune City struck back. They scored the first in the 62nd minute as Gurtej headed home a corner-kick from inside a crowded goalmouth and then Emiliano Alfaro – who had missed an unbelievable sitter in the opening half — made amends as he was on hand to turn home a beautiful ball by strike partner Marcelinho.

Marcelinho himself could have added his name to the scoresheet but goalkeeper Subrata Paul came to his side’s rescue in a one-on-one situation with the man who won the Golden Boot last year.

Jamshedpur should have taken at least a point from this game but lacked sharpness upfront. They created several chances to get an equalizer but could not finish it off as the final touch was found wanting.

ISL 4: Chennaiyin, Pune grapple with coach suspension

Chennai: FC Pune City got four points from their last two matches while coach Ranko Popovic was serving a four-match ban. However the visitors will now have to overcome the absence of not just their coach at the touchline but also their talisman Marcelinho for a crucial Indian Super League encounter against Chennaiyin FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai, on Saturday.

The Brazilian is Pune City’s leading goal scorer with six strikes, including a hat-trick, and has four assists to boot. He will, however, remain suspended for the next clash after accumulating four bookings. He has missed a match before – against Bengaluru FC – when he was not fully fit and was left on the bench, and it showed as Bengaluru FC walked away with full points.

“Marcelinho is one of the best player in the league. We will miss him surely but I know our team has quality. If a team cannot play without one player, it’s no team. We know his importance, he is a strong player but we know how (good) is our team,” Pune City Assistant Coach Vladica Grujic said during the pre-match media interaction.

With 16 points from nine matches, Pune City are placed third, just below Chennaiyin FC who have an extra point. This puts them in a good position to push for a play-off place, though the assistant coach warned that they still have plenty to do.

“We have achieved nothing yet because you can be first, fourth or last. Now, it’s time to try to win points to come as close as possible to first four. This is our aim to come in the first four teams,” he said.

Chennaiyin FC are among the more impressive teams in this edition of ISL and are second only to Bengaluru FC. The home team, however, must shake off the absence of their coach John Gregory, who curiously also remains suspended, just like their rivals.

“Both of them are really good coaches and they are working here for the betterment of the game. I hope to see both of them back in the dugout soon,” said Grujic.

Gregory’s absence should not impact Chennaiyin FC on the field and they should be encouraged with the return of their captain Henrique Soreno who completed serving a one-match suspension of his own.

“We know Pune is strong in attack. They look threatening. We know they are a good attacking side and will come hard at us. We are lucky that our best player, captain (Soreno) is behind. It will be a good contest,” said Assistant Coach Syed Sabir Pasha.

Chennaiyin FC have conceded goals at the death in their last two matches at home against Delhi Dynamos (2-2) and Kerala Blasters (1-1). That has cost them dearly and Pasha called for focus till the final whistle.

“It hurts us, hurts the players. It’s just lack of focus. We have to play as a team in those last moments. Players also understand I think. It will not happen in the matches to come,” assures Pasha.

ISL 4: Pune City move to the top with draw against Blasters

Kochi: Mark Sifneos cancelled out Marcelinho’s goal to give Kerala Blasters FC a vital 1-1 draw on the return of David James as head coach against FC Pune City in a Indian Super League battle at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Thursday.

Kerala Blasters, last year’s finalists, are still winless in three matches but home fans will be happy to see a more direct approach bring some positive moments in a match that could have gone either way.

Marcelinho played a neat give-and-go with Ashique Kuruniyan, opened his body towards his left side and produced a neat finish in the 33rd minute to give the visitors a well-deserved lead. But Kerala’s equaliser, which came in the 73rd minute, was equally well worked. Courage Pekuson escaped his marker down the left and made the right decision to cut it back for Sifneos. The Dutchman took it first time with his left foot – kept it low – and applied enough power to beat goalkeeper Vishal Kaith.

The point keeps the Blasters in eighth position, but more importantly, takes Pune City to the top of the table.

The first belonged to Pune, and suspended coach Ranko Popovic, watching from the stands, will be disappointed that his side were not a few goals ahead at the break.

Pune started in thunderous fashion. Adil Khan’s header across the face of goal went abegging. Then Emiliano Alfaro took a sharp shot after a quick turn before making a decoy run down the right to allow Marcelinho space through the middle. The resulting shot was wide though. The pressure was telling when Kerala goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury spilled a harmless shot only to see Lalruatthara save blushes with a timely clearance.

Sandesh Jhingan’s excellent defence came to the fore again when he had to stop two fine chances for the visitors. He blocked a speeding Alfaro first before stopping Jonathan Lucca who was also through on goal. Two excellently timed challenges personified his abilities.

The second half was not as open as the first, with Kerala’s defence tightening after what must have been a fiery half-time team talk. In fact, in the last quarter of an hour, they produced some scintillating football going forward. Barely two minutes after it was 1-1, Pekuson made a run down the right, his dummy beat his marker and the rebound from the impending pass found Sifneos. This time though, Kaith came off his line quickly to smother the ball.

But it was the chance in the 88th minute that really should have given Kerala three points. Pekuson, playing in a free role, bulldozed through the middle but his fizzing shot went wide from about 10 yards out. The crowd held its breath, expecting a winner, but that’s as far as it got

ISL 4: High-five for Pune as Marcelinho hat-trick floors NorthEast United

PUNE: NorthEast United’s horror start to the Indian Super League 2017/18 worsened on Saturday night when they suffered their fifth defeat in seven matches after succumbing to FC Pune City 5-0 thanks to Marcelinho’s hat-trick and goals from Ashique Kuruniyan and Adil Khan at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex.

As a result of this win, Pune City took a giant leap in standings. Pune have now moved to the second spot with 15 points from eight matches and are just a point behind league leaders Chennaiyin FC.

NorthEast United suffered their fourth successive defeat in ISL and are just above Delhi Dynamos at the bottom of the league table. The Highlanders have four points from seven matches and have not picked up a point since defeating Delhi Dynamos for their only win on December 2.

The match was all over as a contest inside the first 45 minutes when Pune City grabbed the chances that came their way. The home side had three shots on target and all three of them ended up being goals. NorthEast United also had three shots on goal but none of them translated into a goal, showing why the visitors had a massive shortfall in the first half.

It were the visitors who had the first look at goal and should have been ahead but Marcinho shot straight into the goalkeeper after skipping past the midfield and defence.

From the resultant counter-attack, Pune left NorthEast gasping with their pace as Jonatan Lucca made it all the way to the rival goal and cut it back for Emiliano Alfaro whose shot took a deflection and fell kindly for Ashique who slotted it past the goalkeeper.

Pune made it 2-0 in the 27th minute when last season’s highest goalscorer, Marcelinho, showed his class. The Brazilian won a free kick just outside the box after he was fouled by Rowllin Borges and then stepped up to majestically curl the ball past the wall and into the top corner of the net.

Marcelinho scored his second at the stroke of half time and this time it was the goalkeeper TP Rehenesh who was to be blamed. Marcelinho picked up a ball from Lucca and faced goal from an acute angle. He still tried his luck with a powerful attempt which Rehenesh ended up diverting into the goal through his legs.

Marcelinho completed his hat-trick in the 86th minute when Marcos Tebar found his captain inside the box, and the Brazilian finished it off by beating Rehenesh at the near post.

With two minutes left to be played, Adil scored his third goal of the league for Pune as he turned a ball home from a goalmouth melee.

This was the first time Pune scored five goals in a game but with Marcelinho striking form, this may not be the last.

ISL 4: Win drought against Chennaiyin doesn’t bother Pune City

Pune: FC Pune City coach Ranko Popovic has been left in no doubt that FC Pune City can put an end to their win drought against Chennaiyin FC in their fourth round clash of the Indian Super League at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Sunday.

Pune City have not defeated Chennaiyin FC since inception of the ISL four years ago. But as the two teams square-off in Pune, the hosts are in ebullient mood.

“This is one more reason to be motivated,” the Pune City coach said during the pre-match media briefing.

In the previous six encounters between the two teams, the Chennai side has been victorious on four occasions, while two matches have ended in draws.

“Whatever has happened in the past can be changed; that should be our motivation. But even bigger motivation will be to get all three points. I’m looking forward to one good performance from my players. We need to play well,” said Popovic.

FC Pune City will be high on confidence. Popovic’s side comes into the game on the back of two consecutive victories, the last one against local rivals Mumbai City FC. Popovic’s side has also been in great goal-scoring form, scoring nine goals in three matches with striking duo Marcelinho and Emiliano Alfaro regularly finding the back of the net.

Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory is aware of the threat the two frontmen will pose to his side. The visitors have struck good form too after a disappointing 2-3 loss against FC Goa in the opener and the coach believes his team needs to keep things tight at the back.

“We need to be at our best against Pune. Two of their boys have grabbed all the headlines in the last couple of games. Alfaro and Marcelinho are playing outstanding. They have scored goals between them. And we’ll certainly need to be at our best to try to keep those two quiet,” said Gregory.

When asked if Pune’s gruelling fixture list that saw them play three games in eight days will be an advantage to his side, Gregory simply brushed it off.

“They are on a very good run at the moment. When the games come, the players are always ready. When you are winning, when you are playing really well, scoring lots of goals, you can get up and play the next morning. I don’t think it really matters,” he said.

FC Pune City confirms Marcelinho signing

PUNE: FC Pune City have made an exciting splash into the ISL transfer market with the signing of Brazilian forward Marcelo Leite Pereira for the upcoming season of Indian Super League.

Better known as Marcelinho, the 30-year-old turned out for Delhi Dynamos in the previous season of ISL and finished as league’s top scorer with 10 goals in 14 matches.

The left winger who can also play on the right wing and as a striker is known for his creativity and lethal speed and is a crucial addition to the Antonio Lopez Habas-coached side.

Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Marcelinho is a well-travelled player having played in Spain, Italy, Greece and Brazil. The winger who can double up as a striker has played for various clubs like Skoda Xanthi, Catania, Atromotis, Anapolis and Atletico Madrid B.

He was also part of the Atromotis’s UEFA Europa League squad and his best performance came against AIK Solna in 2015, in the preliminary round, where he scored a goal and assisted one to be named the man of the match.

Having secured the services of an impact player such as Marcelinho, the Stallions, who never progressed beyond the league phase of ISL, would definitely fancy their chances for the upcoming season starting in November.