FC Goa: Jan Seda, N.Das, P.Das, Youness, Peter, Bruno, Edgar Marcelinho, Narzary, Gabriel, Gregory Arnolin.
Chennaiyin FC: Bracigliano, Mendy, Elano, Djordjic, Devadas, Abhishek, Balwant, Gouramangi, Bruno, Dhanachandra, Silvestre.
Very Loud and Enthusiastic Crowd which was expected as the Goans too are very passionate about their football. A positive start by Goa who are causing troubles to the Chennai defence but failing to create any clear cut chances. Great move by Goa from the back but Marcelinho shoots it very high from outside the box. Brilliant passing between Marcelinho and Captain Robert Pires. Another good move by the Goans but the Chennai defence does well and closes the danger. The Chennai defence have now settled and are making it tougher for the Goans. The Goan crowd is loud and very vocal cheering every good block and attack by the home team. Chennai have now taken over and and creating a lot of chances. Chennai very solid at the back and not letting the Goan attack to enter deep into their penalty box.
Both teams creating chances but neither goalkeeper has much work to do. Both teams are lacking the final pass which would open either defence. The crowd are getting louder and louder trying to pump their players up. Robert Pires makes a good run but skies his attempt at curling the ball into the top corner. The Frenchman has been very influential and is attracting a lot of players to close him down. Chennai are playing a long ball game but most of the balls are going to waste. 30 minutes into the game and the teams are evenly matched with both goalkeepers hardly doing any work.
And GOAL! A cross from the left is poorly headed by the Goan defence onto Elano who chests it down and tried shooting but his shot is blocked and falls very kindly onto Balwant Singh whose shot is partially saved by the goalkeeper’s leg but the ball loops into the goal past the helpless keeper. Balwant Singh becomes the first Indian goal scorer in the Indian Super League and etches his name into the competition’s history. Marcelinho’s deflected free kick almost resulted in the equalizer. The goalkeeper was helpless as the ball deflected completely in the opposite direction. The game has slowed down a bit as the heat and humidity seem to be catching up to the players.
GOAL! A bad tackle on Balwant just outside the box gives Chennai a free kick and Elano with a sublime finish to double Chennai’s lead. The Brazilian shows why his set pieces are feared as the keeper just watches the ball curl into the top corner. He shows why he was bought as the Marquee player of the Chennai franchise.
A very bad tackle and Narayan Das of Goa is lucky to escape with a yellow card. Had he not been fouled it could have easily been a goal scoring chance for Chennai. This is the third booking of the game as Abhishek Das and Elano were also booked earlier for Chennai. A late penalty shout for Goa as Arnolin is bought down but the referee has no interest in it. The first half ends with Chennai being the team with more conviction.
The second half begins on a sour note as there is a coming together between the players but the referee manages to settle them down. The Goans have begun brightly and are creating multiple chances. Robert Pires has been badly tackled from behind by Denson and what was expected to be a red for Benson turns out to be a yellow in the Referee’s eyes. A fight breaks out but is bought under control by the players themselves. The Goans create another goal scoring chance but it is botched by the onrushing Chennai keeper Bracigliano. Chennai have taken a defensive approach and are letting Goa keep more hold of the ball. The game has become much more physical but has slowed down due to the high humidity.
GOAL! A deep cross is turned back in brilliantly by Borjaloon and it falls onto the feet of Arnolin who makes no mistake and reduces the Chennai lead to 1. The Goan fans have come alive again as they hope to see a comeback. Elano has been subbed off and looked completely drained out. A deep free kick is punched out for a corner by Bracigliano but he also manages to catch goal scorer Arnolin who goes down with an injury in his mouth. Captain Djordic has also been subbed off after having a pretty quiet game in the heart of the Chennai midfield. Clifford Miranda almost scored directly from a corner but Bracigliano read the in swinging cross well and cleared it for another corner. Herlein has been subbed off for Goa with Ranty Martins coming on and doal scorer Balwant Singh has been subbed off for Jeje Lalpekhlua for Chennai.
Brilliant run by Das and he puts a low cross for Martins but Bracigliano pulls off a stunning save to keep Chennai in the lead. The keeper from Italy has been crucial as he has pulled off a lot of great saves. Mendoza makes a brilliant run on the left side cutting three defenders but his final shot is blocked.
A brilliant ball by Clifford Miranda from the left for Ranty Martins but his shot is exquisitely blocked by Mendy. The Chennai defence have been very solid and this block was just another example of it.
5 minutes have been added on after the 90 and Goa look poised to score. They have had a flurry of chances but they have not been able to score due to a very solid Chennai defence. The referee blows his whistle and its game over as Chennaiyin FC become the first team to win an away game in the Indian Super League.
While it looked like Goa would get an equalizer, the Chennai defence looked very solid and prevented them from having any clear cut chances while Goa also lacked the conviction even though they were creating so many chances. A highly competitive match and the crowd were amazing as well. Great game to watch and we hope to witness many more game like these.
Man of The Match: Balwant Singh.
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