Rampant Chennaiyin leave Goa with a mountain to climb in the second leg
A second half blitz helped Chennaiyin FC register a commanding 4-1 victory over FC Goa in the first leg of their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 semi-final clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. The result leaves the Gaurs with a mountain to climb in the second leg at the Fatorda, but the away goal will keep their hopes alive.
- Chennaiyin took the lead in the 54th minute through Lucian Goian.
- Anirudh Thapa made it 2-0 for the home team seven minutes later.
- Eli Sabia made it 3-0 for Chennaiyin in the 77th minute before Lallianzuala Chhangte made it 4-0 a couple of minutes later.
- Saviour Gama pulled a goal back for Goa in the 85th minute.
Even before the match went underway, there was big news on the offing with Hugo Boumous and Brandon Fernandes missing from the Goa line-up. It was Chennaiyin, who were asking the early questions, as they kept the Goa defence under pressure. Goian also tested Goa custodian Mohammad Nawaz with a header around the five-minute mark. Nawaz was in action yet again ten minutes later, keeping out Rafael Crivellaro’s driven shot.
Rafael Crivellaro shot 🤜🤛 @nawaz_nao save#CFCFCG is spicing up already! 🙌— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 29, 2020
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The Goa defence looked nervy in the initial phases, giving the ball away in dangerous areas time and again. The Gaurs, however, slowly stabilized, largely thanks to Ahmed Jahouh’s composed showing in the middle of the park but provided very little attacking threat. Goa’s first notable chance of the game came about in the 35th minute with Seriton Fernandes forcing a save from Chennaiyin goalkeeper Vishal Kaith after a quick counter attacking move.
Nerijus Valskis came close in the 43rd minute from a free kick and clipped the outside of the post before going out. The half time whistle sounded with the scoreline 0-0.
.@NValskis manages to beat both the defensive wall and the goalkeeper, but not the upright. 🥅— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 29, 2020
Almost for @ChennaiyinFC!
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Nine minutes after the restart, Goian drew first blood as he outleapt the Goa defence to head a Crivellaro free-kick past Nawaz.
Aye aye, Captain! 🤩— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 29, 2020
Lucian Goian opens the scoring for @ChennaiyinFC 🙌
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The opener gave the match a lot more urgency as Goa tried to respond. The away team almost found a way through around the hour mark as Mourtada Fall had a free header on goal from a corner. The Senegalese, however, couldn’t keep his effort on target.
The Gaurs were made to pay minutes later as Anirudh Thapa curled one in past Nawaz in the 61st minute. Things only turned worse for the visitors from there on. In the 77th minute, Eli Sabia tapped in Valskis’ low cross to make it 3-0. Minutes later, it was Lallianzuala Chhangte who put the finishing touches to Crivellaro’s cross to increase Goa’s advantage.
With five minutes to go for regulation time, substitute Saviour Gama reduced the deficit for Goa as he toe-poked Jahouh’s pass in past Kaith. Goa ended the match strongly but couldn’t cut down the deficit any further. The match ended 4-1 in Chennaiyin’s favour.
Hero of the Match – Anirudh Thapa
The India international not only scored his first goal of the season on the night but also ran the show for Chennaiyin from the middle of the park, especially in the second half. The youngster also had an assist to his name and was rightly adjudged the Hero of the Match for his stunning display.
Club Award – Chennaiyin FC
Maruti Suzuki Limitless Player of the Match – Lucian Goian
DHL Winning Pass of the Match – Rafael Crivellaro
ISL Emerging Player of the Match – Jerry Lalrinzuala
Hero of the Match – Anirudh Thapa
Watch the match highlights here: