Mendoza’s treble sees Chennaiyin FC register their first win
Fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda saw their home team’s first loss of the second season of the Hero Indian Super League [ISL] as FC Goa were drubbed 0–4 by the Marco Materazzi-mentored Chennaiyin FC on Sunday evening. With the season’s first hat-trick brought in by ace striker Stiven Mendoza, Chennai managed to win their first game of the season, with Elano also getting one.
Chennaiyin FC upped the pressure on the home team from the word go. The match got off to a jolting start with Thoi Singh entering from the right flank with a shot right to Mendoza in the box but luckily for Goa the ball was cleared successfully by goalie Elinton Andrade. Their happiness, however, didn’t stay for long with Mendoza spearheading the action. A lovely through ball in the 10th minute by skipper Elano was collected by the Colombian striker who after some resistance drove it home to get Chenniyin FC off the mark at the Fatorda Stadium.
The first half was undoubtedly dominated by the Chennaiyin attacking squad which played aggressive, outward football, in keeping with their style. Zico’s men too enjoyed several bouts of possession throughout the game, especially during 15-20 minutes. During this period, Goa defender Keenan Almeida latched on to the ball in the box, but couldn’t get it past opponent custodian Apoula Edel.
An uncommon occurrence happened in the 27th minute: Lucio’s back pass was collected by Andrade and the referee signalled an indirect free-kick in favour of Chennaiyin FC which went begging.
The celebrations doubled for the Tamil Nadu-based club in the 43rd minute when Thoi passed the ball down to Jayesh Rane whose pass was further collected by Elano and the Brazilian midfielder’s strike brushed past Andrade into the goal.
In the second half, both teams were seen engaging in offensive football. The packed stands – marked at 18,888 – were in for some more delightful football in the 63rd and 75th minutes of the match. Mendoza managed to complete his hat-trick with two more successful strikes - the first one coming from a quintessential Elano pass, followed by a long ball from Godwin Franco who came on to relieve Thoi in the 66th minute. Both those efforts were driven home, and the pro-Chennai crowd at the stadium erupted with joy.
CS Sabeeth, who was brought on for midfielder Mandar Rao Dessai, tried to pull one back in for FC Goa when he unsuccessfully tried to lob one into the net from right outside the box. A few minutes later, Reinaldo faced the same fate.
After two successive defeats, this was Chennai’s first win this season.
Club Award – Chennaiyin FC
Swift Moment of the Match – Elano (Chennaiyin FC)
Amul Fittest Player of the Match – Bernard Mendy (Chennaiyin FC)
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Jayesh Rane (Chennaiyin FC)
Hero of the Match – Stiven Mendoza (Chennaiyin FC)