FC Goa played Chennaiyin FC in their seventh game of the Indian Super League 2020-21 (ISL). Both teams didn't have the best of starts to the season and have been languishing at the bottom half of the ISL table. Both were thus desperate to get back to winning ways soon, or they faced the consequence of falling behind further in the points table.
Historically, ties between FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC have been a heated affair with lots of goals. Today the game started with a bang, keeping up with the previous tradition as Chennaiyin FC took the lead in the 5th minute. The lead didn't last long for Chennaiyin FC though, as FC Goa equalised in the 9th minute. The scoreboard at half-time read 1-1.
Chennaiyin FC scored in the 54th minute to secure their second victory of the season. The match ended 2-1 in favor of the former champions.
Rafael Crivellaro gets his name on a unique list of players
Elano Blumer, Bruno Pelissari, and now Rafael Crivellaro have the achievement of scoring directly from a corner in the ISL. Rafael Crivellaro scored directly from a corner today, which beat Nawaz and the Goa defence comprehensively. There wasn't much anyone could do about the strike as it had a wicked bend and dip in it.
The goal from the corner gave Chennaiyin FC the lead in the fifth minute. Rafael Crivellaro did show that the goal was not a fluke as he repeated a similar corner kick minutes later. But Nawaz was alert and fisted the ball away. Rafael Crivellaro was a real menace for FC Goa today, especially from set-pieces.
Chennaiyin FC's tryst with open-net misses continues
Chennaiyin FC took the lead in the fifth minute, but FC Goa equalised in the ninth minute. Chennaiyin FC still kept the pressure up and managed to create a lot of chances. At half-time, Chennaiyin FC could have been three goals up. But their tryst with open-net misses ruined the party for the former champions.
Lallianzuala Chhangte was guilty of missing not one, but three absolute open-net sitters. The Mizo winger found himself in some great positions, but ruined them with abysmal finishing. Not just in this game, but in the previous games this season too, Chhangte has been guilty of wasting some great chances.
Rafael Crivellaro, who scored the first goal for Chennaiyin FC, was also guilty of missing a similar opportunity in the second half from a Chhangte cutback. Had Chennaiyin FC scored from the open-net chances, the margin of victory would have been even bigger.
Alexander Romario Jesuraj: The man with assists for FC Goa
Alexander Romario Jesuraj signed for FC Goa last season on a three-year contract, but went on loan to Mohun Bagan in the I-League. The winger from Tamil Nadu then won his second I-League title with the Mariners.
With the departure of Mandar Rao Dessai, it was evident that Romario would get minutes under his belt this season. The Dindigul-born winger has been in great form for the Gaurs and has managed to secure three assists this season.
He has been FC Goa's go-to man on the flanks this season. The speedy winger got a brilliant assist today as he played a superb measured cutback cross, which Jorge Ortiz blasted into the roof of the net. With his assist today, Romario became the second-highest assist-getter this season.
Chennaiyin FC finally get the result they need
Chennaiyin FC haven't been playing bad football this season, but were just not able to secure the results. Today though, was a different tale as the team from Chennai managed to get the desired result.
With the scores tied at 1-1 after ten minutes of play, people expected Chennaiyin FC to play a bit more cautious football. But they did the complete opposite as they kept piling up pressure on the FC Goa goal. Nawaz, the FC Goa goalkeeper, had to make some good saves to keep Chennaiyin at bay.
In the second half, Csaba Laszlo introduced the young striker Rahim Ali. Laszlo has been full of praise for Rahim Ali all throughout the season. The boy from Bengal repaid the faith his coach has in him by scoring from a situation that Chennaiyin FC had wasted earlier.
In the 54th minute, Crivellaro barged into the Goa box and kept hold of the ball before finding Rahim Ali with an excellent grounded cross. The striker finished off with a simple tap in. The goal brought a sigh of relief for Csaba Laszlo as he had seen his side miss four golden opportunities from similar situations earlier. Chennaiyin FC have to improve their finishing if they want to reach the playoffs this season.Published 20 Dec 2020, 00:24 IST