Mulder, Wadoo goals help Chennaiyin FC to their first win of the season
Chennaiyin FC beat FC Goa 2-0 in front of an 18,000-strong home crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday. In what was an exciting end-to-end Hero ISL 2016 encounter, Hans Mulder and Mehrajuddin Wadoo scored in the 15th and 26th minutes to help the Super Machans to their first win of the season.
The visitors started well and nearly had a chance in the second minute when Chennaiyin’s Karanjit Singh rushed into a ball from the FC Goa midline. A confusion between him and Eli Sabiá resulted in the ball being gifted to Goa’s Reinaldo but the danger was averted when Sabiá successfully tackled him inside the box.
The hosts had their first real opportunity in the ninth minute when a ball by Mulder found Laxmikanth Kattimani in an awkward position. Baljit Sahni was quick to get into the mix but he fouled his marker before he could find a shot at goal.
The deadlock was broken in the 15th minute with a swift move by the Super Machans. Raphael Augusto found Mulder in acres of space down the middle, who simply controlled the ball, moved a yard to open up his body and coolly struck the ball into the bottom right corner past the diving Kattimani to make it 1-0.
FC Goa tried to find a quick response to the goal with two attacks in quick succession. The first in the 18th minute saw Raju Gaikwad make a run down the right only to see his attempt at a cross being thwarted by Karanjit. A better opportunity presented itself three minutes later when Joffre put a ball into Rafael Coelho, who had a free header. Karanjit collected his feeble attempt happily though.
Chennaiyin made it 2-0 almost against the run of play in the 26th minute when Wadoo’s shot took a huge deflection off Brazilian Rafael Dumas and went into the goal with a hapless Kattimani lunging to his left.
FC Goa finished the half strongly with a couple of good chances by Coelho. A run down the right saw him forcing a save off Karanjit, who palmed the ball away to his right in the 30th minute and then Sahil Tavora’s floating ball was headed just wide by the Brazilian six minutes later.
FC Goa brought on Richarlyson for Lucio as an attacking change right after the break clearly in their search for goals and the game opened up as Dumas sent in a lovely ball to Coelho but his shot only managed to hit the side-netting.
With the visitors creating one chance after another, Chennaiyin tried to hit back on the counter. One such move in the 57th minute had Mulder lobbying it through to Davide Succi, who shoved off his marker and had a brilliant first touch. Kattimani, however, cut down the angle and just about managed to toe the ball, deflecting it and making a crucial tackle to avert the danger.
There was almost an own goal moment when Reinaldo’s left foot curler into the box was headed just over the crossbar for a corner by a diving John Arne Riise. The game heading into its final stretch could have been killed off in the 78th minute when Chennaiyin substitute Dudu held off three defenders and passed the ball to Mulder, who got in a brilliant dummy to put Sahni in the clear. But the defender scoffed his shot wide into the side-netting as the best chance of the second half went begging.
Trindade Goncalves had a late one-two with Julio Cesar and fired in a left-footer towards the near post but Karanjit made an easy save as the defending champions handed FC Goa their third successive defeat of the season.
Club award: Chennaiyin FC
Amul Fittest Player of the Match: Sanjay Balmuchu
DHL Winning Pass of the Match: Raphael Augusto
Maruti Suzuki Swift Moment of the Match: Hans Mulder
ISL Emerging Player of the Match: Jerry Lalrinzuala
Hero of the Match: Hans Mulder