“If the English Championship playoffs are anything to go by, we are all certainly in for a treat.” You’re all probably familiar with the term ‘commentator’s curse’ if not, it’s where the commentator remarks about something and then the complete opposite happens. What we witnessed yesterday was the ‘preview curse’.
Pune and Bengaluru cancelled each other out in a game that ended goalless; it’s difficult to say who will be happier with the result due to the away goal rule that has been introduced, which in turn will mean that if Pune come away from Bangalore with a score-draw, they’ll qualify.
Guts But No Glory
‘Guts & Glory’ was displayed by the home fans prior to kick-off and credit where credit is due, Pune did show plenty of guts, they just didn’t achieve any glory which will have disappointed the home supporters in a crowd which was just shy of 10,000. In the away end, there was a supporter with a blue love heart with all of the Bengaluru’s players names in it which made me want to drink some bleach. That sort of stuff belongs in the classroom, not a football stadium.
Bengaluru won’t be overly disappointed with the result either as Albert Roca will have every faith that his team can do a job on Pune in the return leg on Sunday.
Four Shots On Target
With the last few match reports of the season, we talked about the goals and then some talking points to mix it up, however, we have now hit a bit of a block due to there being the grand total of zero goals last night. It’s hardly any surprise it did finish nil-nil as there were only four goals on target throughout the ninety minutes which equates to one every twenty-two and a half minutes. Brilliant.
Free-kicks were where we saw the keepers working their hardest, so maybe we’ll have a little look at them. We’ll start with Chhetri’s in the first half; Vishal Kaith, who appeared in the end-of-season power rankings, produced a stunning save to keep the top Indian scorer at bay.
It was a weird one as the shot was right at him in many respects, nevertheless, he still pulled a save out of the bag that was fitting of any game around the world. The only thing that makes any sense was that he started to shift to his right and then had to double-back on himself to make the save. If you get chance, watch it.
Not One For The Scrapbook
Pune’s free-kick was in the second half and it’ll come as no surprise that it was the talismanic Marcelinho who struck it. While it may have been out on the left-hand side and a cross was probably more suited, he still gave it as good as he got. A venomous effort was punched away by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the Bengaluru goal and the rebound was fired over.
That was about it. I know, rip-roaring, right? Let’s hope the game on Sunday will produce a bit more activity or we’ll definitely end up with a penalty shootout on our hands. FC Goa vs Chennaiyin is the next game on the calendar and if that is 0-0, I will eat my hat.
There is no way in the world that it will finish 0-0 and if it does, it won’t be the preview curse that has done it, it’ll be the curse of the bet. The prices haven’t come out yet, but I’ll be having a dabble on FC Goa because they’re on fire at the moment and I don’t think John Gregory & co have what it takes to put them out. Famous last words…
Until the next time.