ISL 2023-24: Punjab FC register an easy win against bottom-placed Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad, Feb 27 (IANS): Punjab FC registered a comfortable 2-0 victory over bottom-placed Hyderabad FC in Round 17 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season at the GMC Balayogi Stadium here on Tuesday. Goals in either half by Luka Majcen and Madih Talal ensured The Shers secured their fourth victory of the season and moved to 10th spot in the table, just three points away from a playoff spot.

After this win, Punjab FC have 17 points from 16 matches while 2021-22 title winners Hyderabad FC remained last with four points from 17 matches.

Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis made two changes to his starting lineup with wing backs Mohammed Salah and Tekcham Abhishek Singh replacing Khaimingthang Lhungdim and Nitesh Darjee. Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto named a lineup consisting of ten Indian players with captain Joao Victor the only foreigner in the side.

It was the home side that had the first shot on target with Ramhlunchhunga testing Ravi Kumar in the Punjab goal. Madih Talal missed a chance to open the scoring as he could not control a cutback from Ricky Shabong.

Hyderabad were putting in a spirited performance against the continuous attacks of Punjab FC and kept the score goalless. The home side had the better possession of the ball but Punjab FC created the better chances as the score remained the same into the drinks break.

Mark Zothanpuia hit the side netting from a clearance of a long throw before Punjab FC broke the deadlock just before half-time. Madih Talal in combination with Abhishek Singh set up Luka Majcen at the back post. The Slovenian had no trouble finishing it past the Hyderabad keeper for his sixth goal of the season and also Talal’s fifth assist of the season.

PFC started the second half attacking the Hyderabad goal and found the result soon after. Luka Majcen found Madih Talal inside the box off a Hyderabad clearance and the Frenchman took a touch and turned, hitting the ball past the Hyderabad keeper to double the lead. The away side almost found the third goal in the very next attack as Talal played Wilmar Jordan inside the box, but the Colombian’s effort was blocked by Alex Saji.

Punjab FC continued to create chances but the finishing touches were found wanting due to lack of proper finishing touch. On the other end, the Punjab defence saw out the occasional Hyderabad attack without any trouble. The Nizams had a golden opportunity to score one back, but Abdul Rabeeh scuffed his shot over the crossbar.

Substitute Juan Mera, at the other end, forced a save out of the Hyderabad keeper in injury time. Punjab FC saw off the rest of the match for a comfortable victory and also kept a clean sheet. Madih Talal was adjudged as the player of the match.

In their next match, Punjab FC will face Mumbai City FC on March 2 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.


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Title: ISL 2023-24: Punjab FC register an easy win against bottom-placed Hyderabad FC

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