Chennai: FC Goa scored in both halves to beat Chennaiyin FC 2-0 to secure their second successive win in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.
With two wins in two, FC Goa goes to the top of the table and is the only team with a 100% win record this season. Redeem Tlang scored in the 11th minute and Noah Sadaoui wrapped it up for the Gaurs in the 92nd minute.
Both sides made one change to their starting XIs for this game. Devansh Dabas took his place between the sticks to replace the suspended Debjit Majumder for Chennaiyin FC. Alvaro Vazquez started from the bench as Sadaoui took his place in the starting line-up for the visitors.
It did not take long for the match’s first goal as FC Goa took the lead in the 10th minute. Sadaoui found himself at the end of a beautiful long pass from the middle third. The Moroccan was marked tightly by Fallou Diagne, but he used his quick feet to put a cross in from the left before Redeem Tlang nodded the ball into the net.
Twenty minutes into the first half, Dheeraj Singh produced two spectacular saves to keep his side’s narrow lead intact. Prasanth Karuthadathkuni cut the ball back into the path of Rahim Ali. The striker’s effort was palmed onto the bar by Singh. The rebound fell to Petar Sliskovic, whose volley was kept out by the FC Goa shot-stopper.
In the next minute, at the other end, Sadaoui was in a one-on-one situation with Dabas. The striker galloped towards the goal before firing his shot wide. A few minutes later, Jiteshwor Singh was unmarked inside the box and got the ball in a good position. However, Dheeraj Singh made himself big and blocked the youngster’s strike.
A minute before half-time, Sliskovic attempted to score from a tight angle. Singh was on his toes once again to deny the Croatian. In first-half stoppage time, FC Goa broke on the counter with four players against Chennaiyin’s two. Sadaoui slid the ball to Glan Martins before the midfielder smashed his shot wide.
Attackers from both sides were kept at bay till the 90-minute mark. Twelve minutes were added on to account for a stoppage due to Dheeraj Singh’s injury treatment as the hosts swarmed forward. However, that left them vulnerable at the back, and the Gaurs quickly capitalized on that. In the second minute of stoppage time, Sadaoui put the game to bed with a composed finish.
The Marina Machans will get two weeks of rest before they travel to face East Bengal FC in their next match on November 4. The Gaurs will be in action next weekend when they visit defending champions Hyderabad FC on October 29.