ISL Playoffs: FC Goa 4-2 Chennaiyin FC - Talking points

Chennaiyin FC lost 2-4 against Goa in Fatorda but it managed to pull through on the aggregate scoreline to make it to its third ISL final.

Valskis heads in Chennaiyin FC's second goal against FC Goa.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

FC Goa downed Chennaiyin FC 4-2 in the second leg of the semifinals but it proved insufficient with the visitor pulling through 6-5 on aggregate to make the Indian Super League final.

The ISL table-topper needed two goals in the final 10 minutes to pull off a remarkable turnaround but Chennaiyin stood firm in the end.

Here are Sportstar’s talking points from the match

READ | ISL: Chennaiyin holds on for aggregate win, through to final  

1. Thriller marred by defensive errors

A case could be made for five of the six goals on the night coming from defensive errors on either side. Chennaiyin’s Lucian Goian turned in a cross into his own net for Goa’s first. Goa’s Mohammed Nawaz couldn’t force Rafael Crivellaro’s shot away from the six-yard box, which allowed Lallianzuala Chhangte to score Chennaiyin’s first. Nerijus Valskis was left unmarked as he headed low from a corner kick for Chennaiyin’s second.

A failed clearance from Laldinliana Renthlei fell kindly onto the path of Mourtada Fall, who set up Edu Bedia for Goa’s third. Chennaiyin substitute Masih Saighani allowed a long ball to bounce in his own box which allowed Fall to head home Goa’s fourth.

While Goa’s season came to an end, Chennaiyin has one more hurdle to overcome in the final and will hope to iron out its defensive errors.

2. Boumous missed yet again

In the lead up to the match, Goa was given a boost in the form of return from injuries for Hugo Boumous and Brandon Fernandes. Boumous and Brandon were both named in the starting line-up but the former’s night ended after Goa’s second goal in the 21st minute. Boumous was stretchered off and his replacement Edu Bedia couldn’t make the desired impact. Boumous is more incisive with the ball and tends to attack the opposition in the final third. On the other hand, Bedia is more measured in his approach, often dropping deep in midfield to help build-up play.

Chennaiyin seemed to benefit from Boumous’ injury as it managed to get itself back in the game. After his substitution, it subdued most of Goa’s threat up until the final few minutes.

3. Another playoff failure for Goa

While Chennaiyin seems to be the king of the playoffs, Goa still can’t crack the code in the climactic phase. In six seasons, Goa has made the playoffs on five occasions but hasn’t been able to go the full distance. Lifting the league winner’s shield and qualifying for the AFC Champions League group stages were its primary objective, another failure in the playoffs will hurt the team. Three different coaches have had a go in six years but Goa’s all-out attacking approach seems to bring about its undoing in the knockouts.

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