Goa win nine-goal thriller against Chennaiyin
FC Goa edged Chennaiyin FC 5-4 in a goal-fest at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda in front of almost 15,000 spectators on Thursday evening. It was the highest-scoring game in the history of the league as FC Goa bowed out of the 2016 Hero ISL on a high.
Jerry Lalrinzuala gave Chennaiyin the lead through a free kick just four minutes into the game, while Rafael Coelho equalised two minutes later. A Gregory Arnolin own goal saw Chennaiyin go up 2-1 in the 14th minute before Joffre scored from the spot seven minutes later to make it 2-2. Dudu scored Chennaiyin’s third goal of the night in the 28th minute before Goa got their third through Sahil Tavora in the 68th minute. Goa then took the lead for the first time through Coelho in the 76th minute. The Super Machans got their equaliser through John Arne Riise’s penalty in the 88th minute. Tavora then scored the winner for the Gaurs in the 94th minute.
Chennaiyin FC took the lead through a lovely left-footed free kick by Lalrinzuala. Although the free kick was not far from the box, he managed to get it over the wall and curl it into the net with some skill. The lead, however, lasted only two minutes as FC Goa midfielder Joffre put in a defence-splitting pass for Coelho in the sixth minute and Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh got a hand to the Brazilian’s shot but could not keep it out.
Chennaiyin almost regained the lead four minutes later as Dudu’s rasping left-footed effort came off the inside of Kattimani’s left-hand post. The Super Machans did regain the lead in the 14th minute when Thoi Singh came in from the right and shot at goal from an angle. Kattimani could not do enough to keep it out of danger and Anrirudh Thapa was at hand to pounce on the loose ball, which hit the post and then deflected off Arnolin into the net.
Goa then got a penalty when Coelho, who had dribbled his way through, was brought down in the penalty box by Harmanjot Khabra, and Joffre converted the resulting spot kick to hand Goa’s second equaliser in the 21st minute.
Chennai got the lead for the third time in the half as Daniel Lalhlimpuia put Dudu through on goal and last match’s hat trick-hero for Chennaiyin showed great composure to round off Kattimani and score in the 28th minute.
Chennaiyin should have really got a two-goal advantage in the 42nd minute, as Dudu laid the ball for Lalhlimpuia with Kattimani out of position, but the Indian’s shot was headed off the line by Arnolin. The score-line remained 3-2 in favour of Chennai at half-time.
FC Goa started the second half on the up as they went in search for a third equaliser. However, the first chance of the half fell to Chennaiyin’s Siam Hanghal in the 61st minute but his shot from just outside the box was deflected away for a corner.
Goa continued putting pressure on the visitors and finally made it count in the 68th minute as Coelho, who tried to put in a cross from the right, saw the ball loop towards Tavora courtesy of a deflection, and Tavora helped it into the net. With that, Goa got themselves on level terms for the third time on the night.
The Gaurs finally grabbed the lead for the first time in the 76th minute, when Coelho was put through on goal with a long ball from Trindade Goncalves and the Brazilian beat Karanjit exquisitely to score Goa’s fourth for the night.
Goa then gifted Chennaiyin a penalty when Raju Gaikwad handled the ball in the box while dealing with a long-ball from Riise. The marquee man himself stepped up and smashed the ball into net with his left foot to make it 4-4 in the 88th minute.
Goa had the last say though as Tavora cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable shot in the fourth minute of injury time that went in off Karanjit’s left-hand post to make it 5-4 towards the home team.
That was how things ended, although the result did not improve Goa’s position (eighth) in the standings.
Club award: FC Goa
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Siam Hanghal
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Sanjay Balmuchu
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match: Sahil Tavora
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Jerry Lalrinzuala
Hero of the Match: Rafael Coelho