GOA: FC Goa sealed their first victory of the 2018-19 season of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) with a stunning 3-1 victory over defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
The Gaurs seemed intent on inflicting defeat on their rivals right from the get-go, with Corominas and Hugo Boumous looking menacing upfront with their pace and creativity. Within 12 minutes, Goa broke the deadlock through a well-worked goal. Lenny Rodrigues managed to sneak in behind the Chennaiyin defence down the right flank before squaring the ball to Edu Bedia. The midfielder made no mistake on his part and drilled his shot into the bottom corner, leaving Karanjit Singh with no chance.
As Chennaiyin went in search of the equaliser, things took an ugly turn as tempers started flaring up. A number of players from both sides including Boumous, Mailson Alves, Ahmed Jahouh and Seriton Fernandes received yellow cards for unnecessary challenges and dirty spats.
Chennaiyin took time to get into their groove, but slowly started dominating proceedings after the 30th-minute mark. Their best chance of the half fell to youngster Anirudh Thapa, who found himself free in space outside the penalty box after some neat play from Raphael Augusto. However, Thapa’s attempted curler sailed hopelessly over the bar. Chennaiyin failed to muster up more clear-cut chances and entered the tunnel trailing by a single goal.
A few minutes into the second half, Goa put themselves in a very favourable position when Corominas doubled their lead. Fernandes took advantage of some sloppy defending from the home team down the right wing and delivered a dangerous cross across the face of goal, which found the Spaniard who was on hand to comfortably tap the ball home.
As the half wore on, Chennaiyin continued to press for that one goal that would get them back in the game, but Goa sealed the tie in the 80th minute with their third. A lofted ball from Jahouh was flicked on by Corominas into the path of Mourtada Fall. The Senegalese defender managed to get his head on the ball and directed it brilliantly into the top corner.
With the game done and dusted, the Marina Machans did salvage a consolation goal through Eli Sabia. The big defender blasted home a towering header from Andrea Orlandi’s corner. That goal proved to be the only silver lining for Chennaiyin, who lost their second consecutive match for the first time under John Gregory.