Millennium Post

Goa beat Chennaiyin 2-0 to jump to top spot

FC Goa scored two penalty goals to beat Chennaiyin FC 2-0 and jump to the top spot of the Indian Super League football here on Thursday.

Leo Moura (64th minute) and Jonatan Lucca (74th minute) converted from the spot to give FC Goa the top spot in the league standing with 14 points, one more than FC Pune City.

Chennaiyin, on the other hand, suffered their fourth loss in eight matches to occupy the fifth place with 10 points.

Worse for Chennaiyin, Harmanjyot Khabra was sent off in the 89th minute, the second time he has been shown the red card in the league.

Chennaiyin Coach Marco Materazzi, who had declared at the pre-match press conference that he was not overly worried about having yielded seven penalty in seven matches in the first phase, was witness to his team conceding two more on Thursday, which resulted to their loss. Chennaiyin had defeated Goa 4-0 in the away clash in Goa and it was not surprising to see the visitors opt for an extra man in defence. The five-man defence made it difficult for Chennaiyin to break them down, although Stiven Mendoza had good chances to open the account.

The best chance came to Mendoza in the 35th minute. Elano Blumer’s free kick missed all FC Goa defenders and fell nicely for Mendoza but the Colombian striker could not believe his luck when his right-footed attempt from close range went wide of the target.

Goa did not have too many clear looks at the rival goal in the first session but Brazilian striker Rafael Coelho, playing for the first time, showed promise. He twice managed to speed his way down the left flank but did not cross well enough and T Haokip came close in the 45th minute but Mehrajuddin Wadoo somehow managed to push the ball out for an abortive corner. 

Goa turned it around in the second session as they controlled the game and the hosts were made to work harder on midfield. The visiting side earned two spot kicks, both of which were converted with ease. The first was in the 64th minute when a long, hasty clearance by Goa defender Luciano saw Rafael race ahead with the ball towards the Chennaiyin goal only for Bernard Mendy to bring the striker down.

The referee awarded a penalty which Moura converted by sending Karanjit the wrong way. Goa won the second penalty in the 74th minute. Moura pulled a ball back from inside a crowded goalmouth for Rafael whose shot was headed towards goal but Wadoo blocked it with his knee only for the rebound to strike his own hand. Another penalty was awarded to Goa by the referee and this time Jonatan Lucca stepped up and made it 2-0. Chennaiyin finished the match with 10 men after Harmanjyot Khabra, who had only returned after serving suspension for a red card, was sent off for a horrible tackle on Moura in the 89th minute.

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