MINOO FERNANDES | NT
FC Goa started their campaign in 6th edition of Indian Super League on a promising note as they registered a thumping 3-0 win against Chennaiyin Football Club, at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda-Margao on Wednesday.
The Gaurs led 1-0 at half time with Seiminlen Doungel scoring the first goal in the 30th minute. Ferran Corominas alias Coro then doubled FC Goa’s lead as he struck in the 62nd minute, while Carlos Penha scored the hosts’ third goal in the 80th minute.
Playing an attacking game right from the start, FC Goa looked for openings and forced two flag kicks in the first two minutes of play but could not find the mark as striker Jackichand Singh failed to take advantage of the passes that he received.
FC Goa had two good chances to surge into the lead in the first half. The first one came in the 18th minute when Coro fed Doungel who however unleashed a rather poor shot which the rival keeper Vishal Kaith had no difficulty in parrying it away to safety.
After the first miss, FC Goa had another chance to score and open their account but this time Manvir Singh ended in sending a weak effort which the Chennaiyin goalkeeper Kaith stopped easily.
Chennaiyin FC then counter attacked with their Romanian import Dragos Petrut pestering the FC Goa defensive line which was guarded by Spaniard Carlos Penha and Senagalese Mourtada Fall. Dragos did try a couple of shots in the 20th and 22nd minute but they clearly lacked the firepower that could have caused any damage to FC Goa.
FC Goa, who looked steady in their attacking line, thereafter went into the lead in the 30th minute following a long pass by Coro to Manvir Singh who worked his way down the right flank and then finding Seiminlen Doungel passed the ball to him who obliged by sending a stiff grounder past the bewildered Chennaiyin keeper Vishal Kaith.
Five minutes later, Jackichand Singh had a good opportunity to swell the lead. But the striker, instead of shooting from inside the box, took his own sweet time to pull the trigger and in the process lost the ball to an opponent defender.
FC Goa, in a bid to further increase their lead, went on pressing hard and began stitching some nice moves. It was during such a spell that Coro almost found the mark with a curling shot after Mandar Rao Dessai provided a nice assist to him, but the Chennaiyin FC keeper Vishal Kaith made a smart save.
The beginning of the second session saw FC Goa defender Seriton Fernandes in his usual best form as he foiled Chennaiyin FC striker Lallianzuala Chhangte’s attempt when the latter came speeding up down the box, but before he could take a step forward Seriton snatched the ball from him and sent it away to safety with a sliding tackle.
With Chennaiyin FC having nothing much to offer, the proceedings in the second session looked lacklustre.
FC Goa buttressed their lead in the 62nd minute through their talismanic footballer Coro. Jackichand Singh released the ball from the right flank to Coro into the box on the edge of the box on the left flank; Coro controlled the ball and banged it in giving no chance at all to the Chennaiyin FC keeper.
Chennaiyin FC’s Chhangte almost pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute but FC Goa keeper Mohammad Nawaz proved to be a safe pair of hands as he parried the ball away.
Soon there was action at the other end where one saw Jackichand Singh and Seminlen Doungel mess up glorious opportunities that fell to them.
As the match wore on, FC Goa piled up more pressure on their opponents and jolted the visitors with a third goal through Carlos Penha, who gently tapped the ball angularly in the 80th minute off a free kick taken by Jackichand Singh.
Jackichand Singh was replaced in the 86th minute with Prnxwroin Rebello coming in his place. And soon thereafter Liston Colaco came in to replace Seiminlen.