Chennaiyin FC suffered its first loss of the Indian Super League (ISL) season after FC Goa pulled off a 2-0 win on Friday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
Chennaiyin began the game strongly with its forward Petar Sliskovic forcing Goa’s custodian Dheeraj Singh, who was later taken off due to a head injury, to smother a shot from close range.
It was Goa, though, which opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Redeem Tlang, who diverted a cross from the left wing by Moroccan winger Noah Sadaoui into the goal.
Sadaoui sealed the win in injury time after he capitalised on an error from Chennaiyin defender Narayan Das to rifle a shot with his right foot into the bottom corner.
Chennaiyin reacted positively after the opener, with attacks flowing through its winger Prasanth Karuthadathkunni. Soon, he found Rahim Ali in space inside the box, only for his shot to crash off the post. Sliskovic’s effort from the rebound was parried away by Dheeraj.
The Goan keeper was at it again soon when he shut off midfielder Jiteshwor Singh from a one-on-one situation to preserve his side’s lead.
Gaur midfielder Glan Martins had the chance to double the lead moments before the break, but could only scuff his shot wide after Goa had outnumbered the Chennaiyin defence in a counter-attack.
The Marina Machans persisted with attacking down its right flank but couldn’t break down the Goan defence going into the half-time break.
Chennaiyin coach Thomas Brdaric attempted to shake things up in the second half with a raft of changes, including bringing on fan-favourite Kwame Karikari, who had a chance to score in the 87th minute, only to blaze it high.
But, despite losing Dheeraj, Goa kept Chennaiyin at an arm’s distance and even managed to score a second through Sadaoui to secure its second consecutive win and resign Chennaiyin to its first defeat of the season.