ISL 2019-20: FC Goa 4-3 Chennaiyin FC - Talking points

FC Goa held on by the thread to edge out Chennaiyin FC 4-3 in a thrilling game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Thursday.

Rafael Crivellaro (centre) scored Chennayin FC's second goal against FC Goa on Thursday.   -  ISL Media

FC Goa will celebrate a very fruitful year as it will finish 2019 at the top of the Indian Super League table after a 4-3 win over Chennaiyin FC on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Defensive errors cost Chennaiyin three goals in the first half as Ahmed Jahouh (26'), Brandon Fernandes (41') and Hugo Boumous (45') got on the scoresheet.

Chennaiyin clawed back with goals from Andre Schembri (57') and Rafael Crivellaro (59') before Ferran Corominas (63') re-established a two-goal cushion for Goa. Crivellaro's (90+2') stoppage-time strike brought the host closer but Sergio Lobera's side saw out the game to seal a fourth win on the trot.

MATCH REPORT | Goa edges out Chennaiyin in seven-goal thriller, goes top

Here are Sportstar's talking points from the exhilarating game in Chennai.

Referee misses few, gets some right

The debate on refereeing will continue to rage on after the match official Umesh Bora turned a blind eye to Jahouh's push on Schembri in the third minute of the game. Had that decision gone Chennaiyin's way, the match would've seen a different result.

Then, Bora dusted off his book in the second half by dishing out nine yellow cards and two red cards as things seemingly got out of hand.

However, the most significant of them was booking Crivellaro for simulation in the 84th minute after he went to the ground quite easily after coming under Mandar Rao Dessai's tackle. Mohammed Nawaz's reckless tackle on Lallianzuala Chhangte could've warranted a red card but the Goan custodian remained on the pitch with just a yellow to his name. Both the coaches - Sergio Lobera and Owen Coyle - also suffered the referee's wrath right after the final whistle when tensions boiled over.

Crivellaro - Chennaiyin's lynchpin

Crivellaro's creativity was wasted in the first half as the Chennaiyin forwards, after receiving his through passes, failed to find an opening. Nerijus Valskis, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Andre Schembri got their act together in the second half which raised Chennayin's game with Crivellaro, who acted as the focal point of the host's attacks.

His passes wreaked havoc in the Goa box as Chennayin won four set-pieces in dangerous situations right after the break. Crivellaro's dangerous delivery, with the help of a deflection, into the box from a corner resulted in an easy header for Schembri's opening goal in the 57th minute. Two minutes later, he was there to stab home Chennaiyin's second goal after a wonderful interplay between Chhangte and Valskis. The midfielder curled a delightful ball into the back of the net in the final minutes of the game and was unlucky to end up on the losing side.

Coyle's energy makes Chennaiyin tick

Chennaiyin's lacklustre season suffered from poor finishing, indecision at the back, but most importantly the side looked short of confidence under John Gregory. Owen Coyle's fiery presence on the touch line has been able to restore some of the lost confidence, which was evident from the way his side played in the second half.

The Scotsman stuck to his guns despite conceding three goals as a determined Chennaiyin emerged out of the tunnel. The host strangled Goa's midfield and the energy of Valskis, Chhangte and Crivellaro did the rest. The playoffs are a long shot, but under Coyle, Chennaiyin is heading in the right direction.

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