FC Pune City kept their chances of progressing to the playoffs alive, after securing a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Atletico de Kolkata at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium on Sunday.
Goals from Eduardo Ferreira and Anibal Rodriguez were enough for Pune to score their first home win of the season and jump two places to sixth on the table, with 10 points. Iain Hume kept Kolkata in the game after converting a penalty in the 69th minute but the visitors could not find a crucial second goal.
Pune took the field determined to script a positive result and end a wretched run of form that saw them win just one match in the first phase of the league. The Pune players stuck to a plan but it was Kolkata who had the first chance of the match. It was created by the marquee Helder Postiga in the eighth minute when the Pune defence was retreating. The former Portugal striker took advantage of the space available for him and took a powerful shot which was not too far away from the top left corner.
After much probing, Pune took the lead in the 41st minute through Ferreira. Just a few minutes earlier, the Brazilian needed medical attention after clashing with Postiga. He had a cut across his face but continued bravely and headed home Jonatan Lucca's corner to give his team the lead.
Pune made it 2-0 in the second half after the referee adjudged Pritam Kotal to have handled Tato's cross inside the box. Pritam protested, along with several other Kolkata players, but the referee stuck to his decision. Anibal stepped up to take the spot-kick and converted even though the goalkeeper Debjit Majumder managed to get his hand to the ball.
The visitors were thrown a lifeline in the 68th minute when Postiga won a penalty, having being brought down by Mohammed Sissoko. Hume's penalty was initially saved by Edel Bete but the Pune keeper could do nothing to stop the rebound.
Pune pushed hard for an equalizer, but Pune's defence held its own to pocket an important win.