GOA: FC Goa made a winning start to their Indian Super League 2019-20 campaign with a 3-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday. Seiminlen Doungel introduced himself to the home fans by scoring the opener on the half-hour mark, while talisman Ferran Corominas and defender Carlos Pena scored in the second-half.
The hosts dominated early on but failed to create any clear-cut chances against a defensively sound Chennaiyin outfit. The visitors, meanwhile, had a penalty appeal waved off during the early exchanges after Dragos Firtulescu went down inside the Goa penalty box following a challenge by Seriton Fernandes.
The Gaurs created their first chance of note in the 19th minute after Corominas put Doungel through on goal. A switched-on Vishal Kaith, however, was quick off his line and narrowed down the angle fast enough to thwart Doungel.
Kaith was back in action moments later and this time, he kept out a shot with some more venom from Manvir Singh.
Kaith’s opposite number Mohammad Nawaz was also called into action near the 25-minute-mark as he comfortably kept out Lallianzuala Chhangte’s effort on goal.
The home side finally made their dominance count five minutes later by scoring the opener. A surging run to the byline by Manvir and his subsequent cutback went on to ricochet off Eli Sabia before being slotted home by the perfectly positioned Doungel.
Goa grew in confidence after breaking the deadlock and began to create more opportunities as half-time drew closer. Brandon Fernandes saw one of his long-range effort fly just over the crossbar, while Corominas’ stinging grounder from range was palmed away by Kaith, who ensured Chennaiyin trailed by just the solitary goal going into the break.
After threatening numerous times already in the second period, Goa finally doubled their lead in the 62nd minute through their and Hero ISL’s all-time leading goal scorer, Corominas. The Spaniard found himself with space in the box and controlled Jackichand Singh’s cross from the right perfectly before smashing the ball into the back of the net.
Chennaiyin tried to get back into the contest but found it difficult to get past Goa’s custodian Nawaz. Chhangte did well to play a one-two before getting a shot off on goal in the 73rd minute only for Nawaz to parry it behind for a corner.
At the other end, Jackichand had an opportunity to make it 3-0 for Goa two minutes later. The Indian winger’s shot, though, failed to test the goalkeeper much to the disappointment of the home faithful. The Gaurs, however, did get their third goal in the 81st minute when Pena directed a Brandon free-kick into the net. Goa continued to attack for remainder of the game but Chennaiyin limited the damage as the Gaurs secured three points.