FULL-TIME: FC Goa 1-0 Chennaiyin FC
FC Goa: 26′ Coro (Assist: Jackichand Singh)
The defending champions Chennaiyin FC finished their league campaign with a whimper after going down to title contenders FC Goa at the Fatorda.
With the loss tonight, Chennaiyin FC have lost their 13th game of the season and finish their campaign with nine points – the lowest points aggregate in the history of the ISL.
The game began with Chennai flattering to deceive. They allowed little time and space to the free-scoring FC Goa and closed them down rapidly.
Having won the reverse fixture earlier in the season where they scored three past Chennai, it was only a matter of time before the Gaurs’ penchant for goal scoring reflected itself on the scoresheet.
That moment came in the 26th minute – and it was the usual suspects with the usual move. The best midfielder in the league Ahmed Jahouh from deep in midfield released a ball into the right winger Jackichand Singh. Jackie who was just outside the box passed first time into Coro who was perfectly positioned around the penalty spot to turn it in.
After taking the lead, Goa hung back and kept possession while Mumbai tried to press forward, but always seemed wary of the counter. Raphael Augusto and Anirudh Thapa drove forward with the ball a few times, but they lacked support with the two forwards on the pitch Vineeth and Jeje largely ineffectual. Chris Herd had a great to chance to equalise in the 67th minute, but he shot high and wide from four yards.
As the running sum graph indicates, Chennaiyin didn’t create anything of note late in the second half as they went into their now familiar shell. The top creator tonight, Jackichand Singh, almost doubled the lead for Goa with an exquisite pass which went past three defenders, but Coro failed to hit the target.
With the win tonight, Goa pick up their eighth clean sheet of the season and will finish the league in second position. Coro got his 15th goal of the season and looks most likely to be the top scorer in the league for a second season running.
John Gregory announced in the post-match presser that he will not continue with Chennaiyin FC next season.
For me, it’s a personal insult. I am a proud man and I am not very proud of my team finishing at the bottom of the table. It’s a statistic which I’m not very proud of but I have to accept it as it is. The club will start with a clean slate next season. But I won’t be here next year.John Gregory, Head Coach, Chennaiyin FC