ISL: Chennaiyin posts first win

With this victory, the defending champion moves above FC Pune City into fifth place while a beleaguered FC Goa stays rooted to the bottom of the table.

Mehrajuddin Wadoo of Chennaiyin FC scores his team's second goal against FC Goa in the Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai.   -  ISL / SPORTZPICS

Chennaiyin FC got its first win of the ISL season 3, beating FC Goa 2-0 in a re-match of last season's title clash, with Hans Mulder and Mehrajuddin Wadoo getting on the score-sheet.

Coach Marco Materazzi made as many as five changes with skipper Bernard Mendy and striker Jeje Lalpekhlua dropping to the bench. Italian midfielder Manuele Blasi was part of a three-man midfield for the home side while Jayesh Rane and Baljit Sahni flanked Davide Succi up front.

FC Goa deployed a 'False 9' system as Jofre was given the withdrawn forward role with Mandar Rao Dessai left out of the starting XI.

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An early mix-up in the Chennaiyin FC defence involving goalkeeper Karanjit Singh and defender Eli Sabia nearly let Reinaldo sneak in and this set the tone for the opening period in which both teams seemed jittery.

The home side was almost caught out at the back again when young full-back Jerry Lalrinzuala and winger Jayesh Rane tried to play it out from the back instead of clearing their lines. The ball fell to Jofre whose shot was blocked.

But in the 15th minute, the defending champion found the breakthrough when Raphael Augusto found Hans Mulder 20 yards from goal. The Dutchman Mulder was afforded acres of space and he picked his spot, curling the ball into the bottom corner.

The FC Goa players were finding it really hard to find any sort of space in the opposition half and they often found themselves outnumbered after receiving the ball.

Chennaiyin FC made that pressure count when it doubled its lead in the 26th minute. Right-back Mehrajuddin Wadoo collected the ball in-field from Baljit Sahni and let it fly with his right foot from about 25 yards. The shot took a wicked deflection off FC Goa defender Rafael Dumas and beat the goalkeeper all ends up.

That seemed to finally wake the visitor up and striker Rafael Coelho forced a save from Karanjit in the Chennaiyin goal. The Brazilian then headed wide from Jofre's cross.

FC Goa coach Zico took off skipper Lucio and replaced him with midfielder Richarlyson as Sanjay dropped back into the defence. Goa, the runner-up last season, started the second half well but Coelho could only find the side-netting with his shot.

Chennaiyin FC was happy to sit back and pass it around, inviting the visitor to push up so as to hit it on the break. The frustration was getting to the Goa players and especially to its talismanic midfielder Jofre who looked a forlorn figure in the middle of the park.

Chennaiyin FC striker Davide Succi did a brilliant job of holding the ball up throughout the match, bringing the likes of Sahni and Rane into the game. Sahni had a chance to make it three for Chennaiyin as it broke forward in numbers but he could only find the side netting.

Chennaiyin defended well throughout the second half, forcing Goa to shoot from long range as it could not find a way past John Arne Riise and Co.

With this victory, the defending champion moves above FC Pune City into fifth place while a beleaguered FC Goa stays rooted to the bottom of the table.

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