Updated April 14th, 2024 at 22:58 IST

FC Goa dismantle Chennaiyin 4-1; remain in race for second spot

With this victory, the Goan side rounded off their league campaign with 45 points from 22 matches.

FC Goa | Image:FC Goa Media Team
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FC Goa remain in contention for a second-place finish in the league stage of the ISL 2023-24 after scoring a clinical 4-1 win over Chennaiyin FC at the Fatorda Stadium here on Sunday.

With this victory, the Goan side rounded off their league campaign with 45 points from 22 matches.

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They are thus level on points with Mohun Bagan Super Giant, who have played a game fewer (21) than the Goans.

The Mariners will play their final league fixture against Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Monday.

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A victory will see Bagan becoming this season's ISL champions, whereas a draw will push them down to the third spot.

In such a scenario, Goa will directly qualify for the semifinals whereas Bagan will have to battle for a place in the last-four through the playoffs route.

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Regardless of Monday's result, this win was essential for FC Goa to remain in the hunt for the second spot, and they got that in some style with three goals in quick succession towards the end of the first half.

Chennaiyin, who are already into the playoffs, began the game strongly, as a strike by Rahim Ali in the 13th minute meant that they got a foot ahead in this away clash.

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However, it was all FC Goa from there onwards.

Their goal rush started with Carlos Martinez moving the ball up on the right before laying it in the path of Seriton Fernandes near the touchline.

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The latter crossed in the ball and it was tapped home by midfielder Borja Herrera in the 33rd minute to bag the equaliser.

Boris Singh eased things for Goa by drawing a foul off Sachu Siby inside the penalty area in the 35th minute, leading to the sending off of the latter.

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Martinez, who was a key character in building up Herrera's goal, stepped up for the spot-kick duties and completed them effortlessly, hitting the ball into the bottom left corner.

Then it was time for local star Brandon Fernandes to round off the proceedings.

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The Chennaiyin defence wore an arguably disoriented look after the team lost Siby. It provided FC Goa spaces to explore and their Moroccan talisman took an active interest in the same.

His dashing run on the left flank coupled with a timely squared-up pass for Brandon was effectively converted in the added time of the first-half, helping the Gaurs gather a 3-1 lead.

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Martinez kept the pressure afloat on the Chennaiyin backline late into the game as well.

The Spaniard was smart in his final third positioning, and he provided evidence of it by bagging his brace in the 72nd minute off a precise delivery into the box by Udanta Singh. 

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Published April 14th, 2024 at 22:58 IST