Goa reclaim top spot after thrilling win over Chennaiyin

FC Goa won their fourth match on the trot in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 after beating Chennaiyin FC 4-3 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday. The win ensures Goa will end the 2019 calendar year at the top of the points table after reclaiming the spot from ATK FC, who had taken over the summit temporarily following their victory over Bengaluru FC on Wednesday.

  • Ahmed Jahouh scored his first Hero ISL goal to give Goa the lead in the 26th minute.
  • Brandon Fernandes made it 2-0 in the 41st minute before Hugo Boumous extended the lead even further just before half-time.
  • Andre Schembri and Rafael Crivellaro struck for Chennaiyin in the 57th and 59th minute respectively to make it 3-2.
  • Ferran Corominas scored his seventh goal of the campaign in the 63rd minute to make it 4-2 in Goa’s favour.
  • Crivellaro scored his second of the night to make it 4-3 in added time just before Edwin Vanspaul was sent off due to his second booking of the night.

The home side saw a penalty appeal turned down early in the contest after Andre Schembri went down in the Goa box under pressure for Jahouh. Barring the call, chances from open play were few and far between in the first 25 minutes. Both teams tried to move the ball around quickly but lacked the precision in the final third to create any opportunities of note.

The first big chance of the match fell the Gaurs’ way and Sergio Lobera’s men made sure they made full use of it. A wayward pass from the Tondonba Singh was intercepted and opened up space for Ferran Corominas, who found Hugo Boumous at the edge of the box. The Frenchman, in turn, played in Jahouh on goal, who slotted past Vishal Kaith to score his first-ever Hero ISL goal and give Goa the lead.

The goal opened the game up with both sides trading chances in what was turning out to be an end-to-end affair. The second goal of the match seemed inevitable and eventually transpired of the 41st minute. Another mistake by the Chennaiyin defence, this time by captain Lucian Goian, brought about the opportunity. Brandon latched onto the Romanian’s loose back pass and rifled it home to make it 2-0. Minutes later, Jackichand Singh’s cross from the right evaded Goian and the goalkeeper and was turned in by Boumous, who had managed to elude his marker at the far post. The first half ended with Goa 3-0 up.

The home team tried to force the initiative after the restart and piled men forward in search of a goal. The pressure finally paid off in the 57th minute. Rafael Crivellaro’s corner took a touch off Carlos Pena and fell kindly for Schembri, who nodded it in to make it 3-1. Barely two minutes later, the home team struck again to make it 3-2. Nerijus Valskis set up Crivellaro, who beat Mohammad Nawaz with a powerful drive to set up an intriguing final 30 minutes.

Just as it seemed the momentum had completely shifted Chennaiyin’s way, Coro struck his seventh goal of the campaign to make it 4-2 in the 63rd minute. Boumous received the ball for the deep and found Coro’s run with a pin-point pass and the Hero ISL’s top scorer produced his trademark finishing touch to wrap up the move.

In their bid to claw their way back into the contest, Chennaiyin threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Goa but the visitors defended resolutely to keep them at bay. However, seconds into added time, Crivellaro was afforded the space to turn inside the Goa penalty box and the 30-year-old proceeded to find the top corner to set up a nerve-wracking finish to the contest. Almost instantaneously, however, the home team was reduced to ten men as Edwin Vanspaul received his marching orders for a second booking on the night.

The match eventually ended with Goa edging it 4-3.

Hero of the Match – Ahmed Jahouh

It was a memorable night for Ahmed Jahouh, who scored his first-ever Hero ISL goal to initiate the eventual goal-fest. Apart from his goal, the midfield ace raked up 12 successful tackles, made four clearances and three interceptions to earn himself the Hero of the Match award.

AWARDS

Club Award – FC Goa

Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Rafael Crivellaro

DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Hugo Boumous

ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Seriton Fernandes

Hero of the Match – Ahmed Jahouh

Watch the match highlights here:

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