ISL 2019-20: Goa edges out Chennaiyin in seven-goal thriller, goes top

Ferran Corominas' 63rd minute strike earned FC Goa a thrilling 4-3 win over Chennaiyin FC on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.

Ferran Corominas' second-half strike proved to be the decider against Chennaiyin FC.   -  ISL Media

Keeping up with the spirit of the holiday season, costly errors from the Chennaiyin FC defenders gifted FC Goa three points in the Indian Super League as the away side edged a 4-3 win at the Nehru Stadium on Thursday. At the end of the night, things spiralled out of control with the referee handing out 11 yellow cards and two red cards, including one for Goa coach Sergio Lobera.

Chennaiyin coach Owen Coyle stressed on the need to find the balance between attack and defence in the pre-match press conference, noting his team had conceded sloppy goals this season. The nature of the goals conceded against Goa would have infuriated the Scotsman.

Chennaiyin was undone by its mistakes in the first half which resulted in Goa punishing it with three goals - scored by Ahmed Jahouh, Brandon Fernandes and Hugo Boumous. Chennaiyin admirably fought back to provide a real scare for Lobera’s men but Ferran Corominas’s fifth goal in as many games against the two-time champion sealed the host's fate.

Goa wasn’t at its usual best with Chennaiyin’s intensity off the ball not allowing the visiting side to settle in. Things could have panned out differently had the referee awarded a penalty for a push from Jahouh on Andre Schembri in the third minute of the game.

Then, came the first mistake of the night in the 26th minute. Tondonba Singh played a blind pass back to his goal under pressure which was intercepted by Ferran Corominas. Chennaiyin defence was caught unaware as the Spaniard played the ball to Boumous, who in turn sliced the ball between the two centre-backs to find the run of Jahouh. Jahouh side-footed it past the right hand of Vishal Kaith for the first ISL goal of his career.

READ | As it happened

With little under four minutes before half-time, Germanpreet Singh asked too much of centre-back Lucian Goian with a hard hit pass across the face of the goal. Goian’s poor first touch played in Brandon Fernandes, who fired the ball into the net to stun the home crowd.

Things went from bad to worse when Chennaiyin defenders failed to track the run of Boumous as he met Jackichand’s low cross from the right to thump in the third at the stroke of half-time.

A deflated Chennaiyin went into the break but came back reinvigorated for the restart. The host pinned Goa in its half for the first 15 minutes of the second period. Anirudh Thapa came close to opening his side’s tally on the night when he cut the ball across from distance to strike the far post.

Crivellaro was central to Chennayin's attack as Goa struggled to keep him in check. In the 57th minute, the Brazilian swung in a corner from the right side which was flicked on by Boumous on to the path for Schembri to direct the header for Chennaiyin’s first.

Two minutes later, Chhangte dispossessed Seriton Fernandes by the byline before Valskis picked the ball and found Crivellao in the centre of the box. The midfielder composed himself and rifled a shot past Nawaz for the second to bring Chennaiyin back into the game.

But the danger in chasing the game against Goa’s counter-attacking quality ultimately doused Chennaiyin’s comeback. A long punt from the back found Boumous in acres of space and he threaded the ball behind Chennaiyin’s defence for Corominas, who was played onside by Goian. With only the ‘keeper to beat, the Spaniard slotted the ball for his team’s fourth.

Goa had some nervy final few minutes with goalkeeper Mohammed Nawaz escaping with a yellow card for rushing out of the 18-yard box to bring down Chhangte.

Germanpreet nearly found the top right corner with an effort from distance which Nawaz kept out with an outstretched arm. From the ensuing corner, Thapa nodded a header on to the feet of Crivellaro who turned and hooked the ball into the net.

With four minutes of the stoppage-time left, the referee seemingly lost control of the game as he sent off Edwin Vanspaul for a second yellow before brandishing cautions for the two head coaches.

The referee blew the final whistle to the delight of the Goan contingent as it regained the top spot. Both coaching staff continued to remonstrate with the match officials which ended with the dismissal of Lobera.

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