FULL-TIME: FC Goa 2-1 Chennaiyin FC
FC Goa: 51′ Ferran Corominas; 64′ Brandon Fernandes
Chennaiyin FC: 54′ Raphael Augusto
FC Goa have finally arrived on Coronation Street! After two ISL final appearances where they ended up second best, the Gaurs have picked up their first piece of silverware since the club was founded in 2014.
It was Chennaiyin who denied Goa in the 2015 ISL Final – Goa looked on course for a win until Chennai scored two goals in the 90th and 91st minute to grab the title. For FC Goa, tonight’s win over the same opposition will serve as sweet redemption; and also serve as an antidote for the heartbreak they endured in the recent Indian Super League final a few weeks ago.
Chennaiyin finished bottom of the table in the current ISL season after having won the title the year before. However, their run to the final in the Super Cup has been convincing. They defeated Mumbai City FC, ATK and Northeast United – sides they lost to during the league season.
And when the Super Cup final went underway tonight, it was Chennaiyin who were in the ascendancy especially in the first half. Chennai won a spate of corners and threatened from set pieces with Mailson and Dhanpal Ganesh getting close, but nothing materialised.
Raphael Augusto got a couple of shots away and Gregory Nelson drove forward as they pressed Goa in their own half – all in vain as the teams went into the first half break goalless.
As the running sum graph indicates, Goa survived Chennai’s onslaught and in the second half threatened to take the lead. And they did in the 51st minute after Anirudh Thapa gave the ball away cheaply. Coro released Hugo Boumous who made a run into the box and took a shot on goal. The shot was parried away by the keeper, but was in the path of an incoming Coro and a second later Goa were in the lead.
A couple of minutes later, Raphael Augusto got Chennaiyin back in the game with an equalising goal. Francis Fernandes’ cross picked up a deflection and fell just outside the box for the Brazilian to smash it home after another deflection deceived the keeper Nawaz.
The period in the game following the equaliser saw both teams getting their fair share of chances. For FC Goa, Edu Bedia took control of midfield and influenced the game; Jackichand Singh had plenty of balls played into him in space, but the right winger’s final ball was lacking tonight.
Goa took the lead in the 64th minute and Coro would again be the architect after he slipped in an exquisite ball into Brandon Fernandes in the box. Brandon would expertly finish deceiving the onrushing keeper while negotiating two centre-backs.
Chennaiyin tried to find their way back in the game and got plenty of shots away on goal, but Mohammed Nawaz denied them every time they got an attempt on target.The Gaurs had a couple of chances on the break, but they mostly held their ground and saw the game through.
The title for Goa felt well-deserved after entertaining neutrals and fans alike over the years. Their performances this year alone are worthy of being recorded as a note in history and the Super Cup title gives them that.
This is all because of our players. They have been great. If you look back, the history suggests we deserved a trophy for a long time now. I think we have got the acclaim from all people. We will now look to build on that. We will look to strengthen last season and look to do what is left next season.Sergio Lobera, Head Coach, FC Goa