Chennaiyin FC secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory over FC Goa in Match 33 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday. Early goals in either half set up the victory for the Marina Machans as the Gaurs were unable to make their chances pay and succumbed to a second consecutive loss.
In what was a riveting start to the game, Chennaiyin came close to opening the scoring first. Anirudh Thapa controlled the ball on his chest in the opponents’ box and played it to Jakub Sylvestr but the shot was blocked by Gaurs goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz.
A piece of magic from Crivellaro in the fifth minute opened the scoring for the Marina Machans. After an initial effort in the fourth minute went out for a corner, the Brazilian floated in the ball from the right flank which was turned behind by Nawaz for another set-piece. The retaken corner was delivered to the far post, beating all the Goa players and going straight into the net, with Crivellaro scoring only the third direct goal from a corner in Hero ISL history.
The lead did not last for long though, with FC Goa levelling four minutes later. Spaniard Jorge Ortiz Mendoza collected the ball in the middle of the park and played it to Alexander Jesuraj. The 24-year-old Indian winger’s pass into Goa’s attacking third was met again by Mendoza, and he smashed it into top corner of the Marina Machans goal without any delay.
The Chennai-based club kept creating the chances as they looked for their second goal of the game. In the 12th minute, Thapa volleyed the ball from a corner which was stopped by Nawaz. His second attempt from the rebound went wide of the post. A few minutes later, Jakub Sylvestr met a low ball from the right from Lallianzuala Chhangte but the attempt was off target.
Chhangte was close to scoring his first goal of the season in the 26th minute but the winger skied a glorious chance. The Indian international had another chance to score towards the end of the first half. Jerry Lalrinzuala’s blocked shot fell to the winger who blasted the ball over the crossbar. Chennaiyin missed a number of chances as the scoreboard read 1-1 at the break.
Crivellaro missed an opportunity to add to his tally early in the second half but made amends five minutes later in the 53rd minute, assisting Rahim Ali for his first-ever Hero ISL goal. Crivellaro broke into the attacking third but was closely marked by a Gaurs defender. The 31-year-old midfielder kept the ball in his possession however and the following pass was tapped into the goal by the super-sub.
FC Goa’s chances were few and far between compared to Chennai as they looked for the equalizer. The Gaurs kept pressing as the game wore on but the Marina Machans soaked up the pressure well and held onto their lead and registered their second win of the season.
ISL Media Release