FC Goa beat Chennaiyin FC in-front of their home crowd with 3-1 win to clinch a semi-final berth in the Indian Super League.
The team coached by legendary Zico now have 21 points from 13 games — just a point less than table toppers Chennayin and are assured of a place in the semi-final.
Romeo Fernandes (23rd minute), Brazilian Andre Santos (41st minute) and Cezch striker Miroslav Slepicka (62nd minute) scored for the winners while Jean Maurice reduced the margin for the ‘Men in Blue’ in the stoppage time.
It was a match that was completely dominated by Goa save first 15 minutes as they went all out in attack from the onset.
With regular coach Marco Materazzi not in the dug-out, Chennayin didn’t have the proper guidance. The decision to field inexperienced Jayesh Rane proved to be a poor decision.
Goa got the goal against the run of play when Mandar Rao Desai’s left-footed pile-driver richocheted against the horizontal before falling to Romeo, who stabbed it home with a left-footer before custodian Shilton Paul could react.
Shilton, who replaced regular goalkeeper Genaro Bracigliano, had a forgettable day in office.
Goa made it 2-0 after a defensive lapse by Chennayin’s part as Slepicka found an unmarked Santos, whose left-footed angular placement beat Shilton, who failed to sufficiently narrow down the angle.
After the change of ends, it was another punch that rocked the Chennai citadel when Narayan Das’s punch was barely parried away by Paul as Slepicka lurking around made no mistake with the rebound to make it 3-0.
In the dying moments, Chennai had something to cheer about as Goa goalie Jan Seda came out of his charge and Maurice cleverly pushed it towards the goal to pull one back. But that was too late in the day.