After volleying in a goal for Chennaiyin FC, Lucian Goian chose to react in a restrained way as his teammates leapt on him in celebration at the Mumbai Football Arena.
The captain’s 83rd-minute strike turned out to be the winner, sending Mumbai City FC out of the play-offs race.
The Romanian is known for scoring from set-pieces, during the three seasons with MCFC. The home team in blue could not do anything to stop their former captain from finding the back of the net.
Goalkeeper and rival captain, Amrinder Singh, failed to push the ball out of the danger zone as Rafael Crivellaro’s corner kick flew low to the first post. Nerijus Valskis flicked it on to the left post as Goian twisted his body into a position for a leaping, rasping volley from a narrow angle at first touch.
Talking about what went through his mind, the CFC captain said, “It was a great delivery by Rafa, a great flick for Nerka. God sent me to the second post. We did video analysis before the match with our coach (Own Coyle) telling us there is going to be space for the second ball at the second post. Fate put me there, I scored and am very happy about that.”
“I feel bad for Mumbai that they did not qualify, but I feel we were the better team at the season end,” he added.
Goian was the first foreigner to be contracted by MCFC for thee seasons in a row (2016-2019).
“I spent three amazing years here, but now I am (playing) for Chennai and every game I give everything for my team. We did a lot of sacrifices for the last two months and deserved this. We played every game with the sword above our head. I hope we will not stop here,” he said.
Describing the league tie at the MFA, he said: “It was an open game with a lot of chances. I am happy Chennayin FC is the team which is qualifying and happy that my goal helped my team.”
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