It was a fifth of November to forget for Chennaiyin FC as they lost 2-0 at home to FC Goa who went top of the table.

Chennaiyin FC were the dominant team in the first half of the match at the Marina Arena. Mendoza in particular made plenty of darting runs towards the FC Goa goal. However there was a lack of an attacking bite in the final third. The Goan defence spearheaded by the veteran Lucio dealt with the Chennai advances well. The best chance for FC Chennaiyin in the first half and in the match was an unguarded Mendoza shot from an Elano corner. A few inches to the left and Chennai would have taken the lead. Momentum would have been with the home side.

FC Goa did make their presence felt in an attacking sense from time to time but their defence played a more prominent role in the match. It would be a long ball from the defender Luciano that lead to Goa getting its first penalty. Leo Moura converted empathically and momentum was usurped by the Goans for the rest of the match. The second penalty was given when Wadoo was adjugated to have handballed. The ball had actually hit his knee first. Lucca coolly dispatched the penalty regardless. When Khabra got his second direct red card of the ISL for a hack at Moura, the game may well have been declared over then.

Underwear games

The referee had as interesting a match as any of the players. He let play flow freely except for a handful of occasions. Two of those were for the penalties. Another occasion was when he asked an FC Goa player to go off the pitch to change his underwear.

Apparently when the said player was lying on the ground, the referee noticed that he was wearing black coloured underwear which did not match his white coloured shorts. The Goan players were bemused with quite a few of them showing the referee the colours of their own underwear. It was rather surreal to see the Goa manager Zico gesticulating with the fourth official about this matter. Play was stopped for almost two to three minutes. When the player finally went to the sidelines to change his underwear, Goa played with ten men then. One is not sure if checking the colours of the underwear of the players falls into the purview of the officials; if so whether it should be becomes another topic of interest. Perhaps the powers to be can exhibit more flexibility regarding such affairs.

The IPL-ISL Link

The ISL cannot escape the influence of the IPL. The use of fireworks in every match and the recurrence of percussion heavy instruments evoke memories of the IPL nights. What also becomes a strong parallel is the showcasing of celebrities connected with the teams. Abhishek Bachchan, MS Dhoni and Dhanush in Chennaiyin FC's garbs were recurrent objects of interest for the broadcasters. How club owners would look on from the sides at their teams’ performances is not a unique ISL phenomenon .

However these repeated shots of the superstar owners provide rude reminders of how football in India attempts to feed off the popularity of people famous in different fields. In most countries it is the opposite case where being associated with a football team is expected to boost the popularity of a person. One longs for when such a scenario will take place with regard to Indian football. Perhaps then the country will be on the road to be a footballing powerhouse.