Chennai: After two goalless draws, the Indian Super League 4 on Sunday witnessed its first result when FC Goa defeated Chennaiyin FC 3-2 to open its campaign at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, here. After Ferran Corominas got the first goal of this year's ISL in the 25th minute, Goa added two more in the space of 14 minutes to dominate the first half.
The Gaurs, coached by Sergio Lobera Rodriguez, held off a spirited rally by Chennaiyin in the second half, to emerge winners and walked away with three points to go to the top of the table. The Goa team had the better of the exchanges in the early part of the first half. In the second minute, Narayan Das put Ferran Corominas through with a good through ball but Corominas was caught offside.
There was good build up play through the middle with Brandon Fernandes, Manuel Lanzarote Bruno and Ferran Corominas all linking up well. In the 19th minute, Brandon Fernandes had a chance to put the visitors ahead, but he skied the shot. After a slowish first 20 minutes, things picked up and Goa scored three goals in a space of 14 minutes.
The deadlock was broken in the 25th minute with Ferran Corominas beating the rival 'keeper clinically, to record the first goal of ISL 4. Four minutes later, a touch of class from Manuel Lanzarote doubled the lead. It came after a excellent move between Mandar Rao Dessai and Corominas that led to a wonderful pass to Lanzarote, who did the rest.
Mandar Rao Dessai then opened his tally for this season with an easy chance to make it 3-0. The home team fought back bravely in the second half, making its intentions clear from the beginning, and reduced the margin, through Spaniard Inigo Calderon (70th minute) and Brazilian import Raphael Augusto in the 84th minute from the penalty spot.
As the game looked to drift away despite Chennaiyin players' best efforts to pull things back in the second half, a goal due to the Goa goalie Laxmikanth Kattimani's mistake, made things a little interesting. A tame free-kick was hit straight at the keeper. However, Kattimani made a hash of the save as he failed to collect the ball cleanly. It slithered out of his gloves and went in to give Chennaiyin FC a lifeline.
In the 83rd minute, Chennaiyin won a penalty as the 'keeper and Jeje Lalpekhlua went for the ball and the latter was brought down. Raphael Augusto made no mistake, converting the spot kick to pull it back to 2-3. With the fans cheering on in the hope of an equaliser, the host's pushed forward but were thwarted by solid defending by Goa....