Turkish mid-fielder Tuncay Sanli filled the role of a striker to perfection as he scored twice, to guide the Pune City FC to a 3-1 win, over Mumbai City FC in their opening game, at the Indian Super League, season 2. Sanli gave the hosts the lead in the 12th minute, before Frederic Piquionne found the equaliser in the 34th minute. Sanli scored his second in the 56th minute while Israil Gurung’s strike in the 68th minute sealed the win for Pune City. The home team put up a clinical performance despite the absence of forward Adrian Mutu, and it was largely due to the efforts of Sanli.
Sanli gave Pune the lead against the run of play, with the Mumbai defence caught napping. Winder Gurung passed the ball to the back post and Sanli was there to put the header in. Mumbai looked like finding the equaliser in no time but they had to wait until the 34th minute when Ashutosh Mehta came up with a fine cross to Piquionne, who fired the ball into the net. The Nicolas Anelka-led unit were back in the match.
The visitors got of plenty of chances to take the lead for the first time in the game but they went begging as both teams went into the break at 1-1. Andre Moritz had a great chance to make it 2-1 for Mumbai early in the second half but his shot went way off the post.
For Pune, the Gurung-Sanli combine was at work yet again as his crisp cross from the right to Sanli was enough for him to make another header. It was Gurung’s timely cross that brought the third and decisive goal for the hosts, taking a big deflection off Juan Aguilera and looping past the hands of goalkeeper Albino Gomez, to the find the net.