An engaging Indian Super League tie between FC Pune City and ATK ended 2-2 and provided plenty of entertainment, but play-off hopes for either side took a beating at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium here on Sunday.
Stankovic had an effort in the very second minute, but his shot went inches over the bar. Garcia too came close when his shot from the edge of the box struck the crossbar on its way out. However, it was Pune which took the lead, thanks to a Stankovic shot from range which took a wicked deflection off John Johnson’s trailing leg and nestled in the back of the net.
This was after Robin Singh laid the ball on a platter for the onrushing Stankovic. The lead didn’t last long as Jayesh broke down the left wing, only to cut in and curl an exquisite shot into the far top corner. With confidence flowing through it, ATK took control of the match, with Manuel Lanzarote looking in the mood.
Four minutes after the break, Pune had the first chance of the second half when Iain Hume found Robin. His first time shot produced a diving save from Arindam Bhattacharya in the ATK goal. Just at the hour mark, Diego Carlos was adjudged to have handled the ball when going for a 50-50 challenge with Everton Santos. The resulting spot-kick was buried into the net by Garcia, who put his team 2-1 ahead.
ATK was handed a setback soon after when Pronay Halder suffered an injury and had to be taken off for Eugeneson Lyngdoh. Steve Coppell’s side was dealt another body blow in the 76th minute when Robin headed in a corner from Marcelinho to pull Pune level.