Defending champions Chennaiyin FC rode on first-half goals from Hans Mulder and Mehrajuddin Wadoo to beat FC Goa City 2-0 recording their first win in the third edition of Indian Super League, here this evening.
The goals were scored in the 15th and 26th minute as Marco Materazzi’s side now has four points from three games while last year’s finalists FC Goa now has suffered three defeats in a row. The win took Chennaiyin to 5th position in the eight-team table while Goa are languishing at the bottom of the heap.
Chennaiyin FC manager Materazzi had told his boys that he wouldn’t be around to guide them next season if they do not improve and qualify for the semi-finals.
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However it was FC Goa which could have gone ahead when Fulganco Cardozo’s long ball was bungled by goalkeeper Karanjit Singh but Reinaldo Oliveira couldn’t stay on his feet falling inside the penalty box but referee thought otherwise.
The deadlock was broken in the 15th minute as Mulder collected a ball from Raphael Augusto just outside the box, kept his calm and placed the ball past a diving Goa goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani even before the defenders could react.
Chennaiyin made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, this time in fortunate circumstances. Skipper Mehrajuddin was looking to cross the ball inside the goalmouth but instead managed to get a wicked deflection off Goa defender Richard Dumas, which beat Kattimani under the Goa bar again.
FC Goa had their share of chances to claw their way back into the game but lacked sharpness. Rafael Coelho was the most likely player to score in the first 45 minutes.
First the Brazilian striker’s header from Joffre Gonzalez’s cross sailed just wide and then he tried to pick the top corner from a narrow angle but the ball went wide in the 42nd minute.
In the second session, FC Goa chief coach Zico tried to change the equation with a flurry of attacking changes but Chennaiyin FC defended in numbers.
The hosts should have won by a much bigger margin had the strikers kept their cool. Davide Succi had a golden chance to make it 3-0 when Mulder’s long overhead ball saw him within touching distance of the goal, only for Kattimani to get a touch.
Then Mulder found Baljit Sahni with another well-measured cross but the Indian striker could only hit the side-netting.