Kochi: Marcelo Pereira's goal helped FC Pune City script their second win of Indian Super League (ISL) Season 5 beating hosts Kerala Blasters 1-0 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
Pune's lone goal came in the 20th minute when Ashique Kuruniyan set up Marcelo dragging the defenders before sliding the ball back to the Brazilian.
Marcelo's shot deflected off Anas Edathodika giving Blasters custodian Dheeraj Singh, who had earlier won a dual with the Pune forward, no chance.
All through the game, Blasters remained clueless of the finishing game as they kept missing hard earned chances.
In the second half, defending their precious goal, Pune took the pace off the game making it difficult for the hosts. Pune's interim coach Pradhyum Reddy pulled out his scorer Marcelo in the 51st minute and brought in Marcko Stankovic to strengthen his first line of defence. The credit, however, should go to Pune goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh who held off a late wave of attack from the Blasters.
Coming into the game, David James had only one change to the side, Courage Pekuson in place of injured Keziron Kizito, that stole a draw from Jamshedpur earlier in the week. However, he failed to keep the fine balance he struck earlier and Pune made full use of it in the first half. The visitors kept finding holes in Blasters' backline.
James replaced Seiminlen Doungel in the second half with C K Vineeth looking to increase the fire power but the forward could not make any difference.
Iain Hume, who got a start against his former team, remained a shadow of his self through the game getting into the action once in a while.
The win helped Pune to climb one spot in the standings to eight, right below Blasters, with 8 points from 11 outings.
In their next match, Pune will host FC Goa while Kerala will fly to Mumbai to play the last match of this schedule.