Margao (Goa), Dec 19 (IANS) Chennaiyin FC finally managed to register a win after five games with a 2-1 victory over FC Goa in a pulsating Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday.
In a game that saw 39 shots at goal, Rahim Ali scored the match winner in the 53rd minute after Jorge Ortiz cancelled out Rafael Crivellaro’s opener that was scored directly from a corner kick. Chennaiyin would have scored far more goals but were inhibited only by their own poor finishing as Goa’s defence struggled to keep up with them.
Brandon Fernandes returned to the side as Goa coach Juan Ferrando named three changes to the line-up that lost against ATK Mohun Bagan with Aiban Dohling and Jeorge Ortiz being the other two.
Following their 0-0 draw against NorthEast United, coach Csaba Laszlo preferred to start with influential midfielder Anirudh Thapa and Rafael Crivellaro. And the duo troubled the FC Goa defence from the first whistle.
Chennaiyin FC fired warning shots early in the game. Thapa made a darting run on the right and cut the ball back to an unmarked Crivellaro. The latter’s first-time shot was pushed behind by Mohammad Nawaz.
The visitors were soon ahead in the game and it came from a moment of individual brilliance. Crivellaro got his corner-kick to loop over the Goa defenders and land in goal.
But the lead lasted for just four minutes as the Gaurs came up with an instant response in the ninth minute. Ortiz found Alexander Jesuraj on the right who squared the ball back to the Spaniard. His shot found the roof of the net.
Chennaiyin displayed attacking prowess in the first half and should have been up by two or more goals. But a couple of missed sitters from Crivellaro and Lallianzuala Chhangte along with Nawaz’s brilliance in the Goa goal saw the scores remain level.
The visitors had yet another chance to go ahead in the game just before the break. But Chhangte failed to keep his composure in front of the goal. Raegen’s effort from left was saved by Nawaz but the ball fell to an unmarked Chhangte who once again failed to direct his shot at goal, leaving Laszlo in agony on the touchline.
Nothing changed post resumption. Chennaiyin continued their poor form upfront with Crivellaro being the culprit this time. Chhangte played a low cross from the left to an unmarked Crivellaro, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Brandon then tried his luck from a distance with a curling shot but Vishal Kaith did well to deny the Goan lad.
Chennaiyin finally got their deserved lead in the 53rd minute when Crivellaro kept his composure in beating Donachie before playing a low cross at the far post where second-half substitute Rahim Ali had little work to tap the ball into empty net.
Had Chhangte scored with the opportunities he had in this game, he should have nearly completed his hat-trick by now. In the 77th minute, Ali set Chhangte through on goal from the edge of the box, but once again the former shot wide.
FC Goa tried their best through Igor Angulo and Ortiz to get the equaliser but Chennaiyin’s defense was too tough to crack.