ISL 2017/18, 2nd Semifinal, 1st Leg: FC Goa vs Chennaiyin FC, 5 Talking Points
FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC played out an exciting 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Indian Super League semi-final. Despite dominating for large parts of the game, the hosts could not finish their moves and this enabled the visitors back into the match.
Chennayin head into the second leg with a precious away goal and will no doubt be the happier side after Saturday night's clash. Here are the major talking points from entertaining game.
#1 Mandar Rao Desai, in his zone, and runs riot
Goa's very own was in his element and put on a show for the packed audience at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. While all eyes were on the home side's foreign recruits, it was Mandar Rao who took the initiative and caused havoc down the left wing.
Operating as an inverted winger, Rao was a live-wire, twisting and turning his markers, with relative ease. His unpredictability triumphed Chennaiyin's disciplined and rigid approach. Whenever he was presented with the opportunity, Mandar didn't think twice before marauding down the left wing with pace and intent.
More importantly, he kept a calm head and was equally mindful of his defensive duties. On the occasions when he did lose the ball, he did well to press the defenders and pile on the pressure. He played a crucial role in Goa's first goal.