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Coro double sends Gaurs into Super Cup final

AGENCIES

Bhubaneswar

Coro scored twice in the first half, including one from a penalty, while Brandon Fernandes rounded off the scoring in the second to help FC Goa beat Chennai City FC 3-0 and reach the finals of the Hero Super Cup 2019, at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

In the final, the Gaurs will face the winners of Wednesday’s match between ATK and Chennaiyin FC.

The loss also brought an end to Chennai City’s brilliant run in the tournament, which saw them knock out FC Pune City and newly-crowned ISL champions Bengaluru FC.

The Gaurs came out with a positive mindset and their quick silky passing pegged Chennai back, barely giving the current I-League champions a sniff of the ball. Seriton Fernandes and Zaid Krouch came close to scoring in the first 15 minutes. The former’s shot at goal was deflected wide while Krouch’s deflected shot from range needed a fingertip save from Chennai custodian Mauro Boerchio to stay out.

FC Goa kept on turning the screws and their dominance finally paid off on the 25th minute as Jacki found Ferran Corominas in the box. With the Spaniard’s back turned towards the goal, it seemed the Chennai backline had enough time to position themselves to cut off the angles. However, Charles skipped the gun and clattered into Coro, leaving the referee with no choice but to point towards the spot. Boerchio denied Sunil Chhetri from the penalty spot in their last match, but no one seemed to have told Coro that, who calmly executed an audacious Panenka to beat the Italian.

Chennai City tried to up the ante to find a quick equaliser, but it was FC Goa who found the second goal. The Jacki-Coro partnership was at the centre of the move yet again. The Indian winger whipped in a cross from the right, which took a deflection off Sriram B. The ball kindly fell for Coro, who did extremely well to make the space for a shot and beat Boerchio again with a low angled shot.

The first half ended with the Gaurs holding a well-deserved two-goal advantage.

Both teams continued creating half-chances as the game progressed past the hour-mark. Chennai were in desperate need for a goal and almost found one through Romario Jesus on the 66th minute. The nippy winger skipped past multiple challenges and pulled the trigger from 30-yards-out. Unfortunately for Chennai, the ball came off the crossbar.

Three minutes later, things got worse for Nawas and Co. Boumous received the ball in the midfield and set Brandon Fernandes free. The winger put on his afterburners, ran onto the through pass and calmly slotted it past Boerchio to make it 3-0 for Goa.

As expected from a team trailing by three-goals in a knockout tie, Chennai tried to throw the kitchen sink at Goa for the final 20 minutes plus added time, but did very little to worry the Goa defence. In fact, the gaping gaps in the Chennai defence allowed the Gaurs to break forward almost at will. Sergio Lobera’s men created ample opportunities to make the scoreline far more imposing, but a bit of bad luck, some last-ditch defending and a few terrific saves from Boerchio helped Chennai avoid any further blushes. The match ended 3-0 in Goa’s favour.

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