Chennai: FC Goa regained the top spot in the Hero Indian Super League after trumping Chennaiyin FC in an edge-of-the-seat contest that ended 4-3 in favour of the visitors here on Thursday.
First-half goals from Ahmed Jahouh (26’), Brandon Fernandes (41’) and Hugo Boumous (46’) set the Gaurs on their way. Chennaiyin threatened to come back with goals from Andre Schembri (57’) and Rafael Crivellaro (59’) but Ferran Corominas (63’) added a fourth for Goa before Crivellaro managed to get another goal back in injury time, setting up a grandstand finish.
However, Sergio Lobera’s team held on to seal the win.
FC Goa head the table with 21 points from 10 matches whereas Chennaiyin’s loss has left them at eighth with nine points after as many games.
The hosts started the game on a positive note but couldn’t maintain their aggression in the attacking third for long. Intricate build-up play by Nerijus Valskis and Rafael Crivellaro at the edge of the box nearly created an opening for the home side but the former’s backheel return for the latter’s forward run was well defended and cleared by the visitors’ defence.
Goa soon took control of the midfield and struck the opening goal in the 26th minute. Chennaiyin lost the ball in midfield and allowed Ferran Corominas to charge into the final third with the ball at his feet.
The striker found Boumous to his right who in turn place the ball into the feet of Jahouh inside the box. The midfielder finished well past Vishal Kaith to break the deadlock.
With Chennaiyin struggling to make a mark and respond to the first goal, Goa added their second goal four minutes before the break.
Lucian Goian failed to control Germanpreet Singh’s backpass and gifted it to an onrushing Brandon who executed a neat strike to beat Kaith and find the net.