Indian Super League

ISL 2018 semi-final, as it happened: Chennaiyin beat FC Goa 3-0 to enter final, Jeje grabs brace

Jeje and Dhanpal Ganesh scored in quick succession after the Gaurs flew off the blocks in the first quarter of the game.

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Chennaiyin players celebrate the third goal | Image credit: Vinayakk Mohanarangan
Chennaiyin players celebrate the third goal | Image credit: Vinayakk Mohanarangan

Full time: Chennayin 3-0 FC Goa Chennayin players are cock-a-hoop. There are some tears too as the better side progressed to the final from the two legs. The 2015 winners, though, have an almighty task stopping Bengaluru FC in the final, which will be at the Kanteerava Stadium. This was a clinical display from Chennai. But don’t forget, they were under severe pressure in the early part of the game. Goa were dominating possession and created a number of openings in the first 15 minutes.

Chennai hit back strongly and it resulted in back-to-back goals. Goa never found a way back in the game and the second half was completely one-way traffic. Quite fittingly, Jeje scored the third goal but he could have had a few more on a different day. This match was a lesson in how fortunes can change so quickly in a game of football. Bengaluru FC would have taken note of it. Nelson, Raphael, Ganesh and the defence also shined through the contest.

89’ Chennai 3-0 Goa (Jeje) That’s it! Chennai are through to the final once again. In a case of deja vu from the previous goals, there was hardly any pressure on the ball in the middle of the park. Chennaiyin create an opening and Jeje calmly pushes the ball past Kumar. Game over. All a bit too anti-climatic after the whirlwind start to the game.

85’ Chennai 2-0 Goa Well, they are not not out of the game completely as Lanzarote unleashes a classy shot from outside the box from a free-kick. Karanjit, once again, is top notch in front of goal and he pushes the ball behind for a corner.

80’ Chennai 2-0 Goa The shots keep on coming from Chennaiyin and Jeje could have had another goal to his name. He had another header from a promising position but the ball once again went over the bar. There is hardly any penetration going forward from Goa, whose heads have dropped.

70’ Chennai 2-0 Goa More trouble for the Goa defence as Raphael Augusto muscled his way past opponents and shot at goal. This time Kumar is upto the task as the shot lacked power on it.

63’ Chennai 2-0 Goa Jeje got yet another chance as he spots Kumar off his line. His clever dink from 30 yards out goes just wide of goal. Goa’s attacks have fizzled out this half.

53’ Chennai 2-0 Goa The last five minutes has seen Goa show good rhythm in attack but the Chennaiyin defence is upto the task and are very well organised at the back, as they have been all season.

47’ Chennai 2-0 Goa No respite for Goa even after the break. Augusto unleashes a shot from outside the box and it narrowly flies wide of the goal. The build-up play was solid too. They had another promising position but the final ball to Jeje was poor.

Half-Time Chennai 2-0 Goa Fine showing from Chennai after withstanding a barrage of shots in the opening quarter of the game. This should be fun. Can Goa make a comeback?

A view from the press box in at the Marina Arena | Photo courtesy: Vinayakk Mohanarangan
A view from the press box in at the Marina Arena | Photo courtesy: Vinayakk Mohanarangan

40’ Chennai 2-0 Goa Great save from Karanjit and this was after Mandar was running rings around the Chennaiyin defence with two dummy efforts before unleashing a shot. The Chennaiyin goalie, though, was more than upto the challenge. Another goal imminent.

“He’s one of our own, he’s one of our own, Dhanpal Ganesh.... he’s one of our own” has been a popular chant all evening – and the man responds with a goal. Great atmosphere at the Marina Arena after the two-goal blitz, reports Vinayakk.

31’ Chennai 2-0 Goa Raphael Augusto is getting into on the act and he gets past two Goa defenders like they were invisible. The Brazilian finds himself in space in the box but his shot from an acute angle was parried behind by Kumar. How the tide has changed in this game. Goa look like they could concede any minute.

28’ GOAL! Chennai 2-0 Goa (Dhanpal Ganesh) Another great cross, lax defending and a thumping header. Goa are in tatters as another gorgeous ball from Nelson is belted into the net by Ganesh, who outjumped Karanjit and two other defenders.

25’ GOAL! Chennai 1-0 Goa (Jeje) Chennaiyin are 2-1 up on aggregate and it was a beautiful ball delivered from the left flank and Jeje made no mistake this time, atoning for his previous miss. Yet again, the Indian striker was free in space. He didn’t even have to jump this time and calmly headed the ball into the roof of the net.

The Field’s Vinayakk reports from the Marina Arena: “As few and far between the chances have been for CFC, the crowd is in good voice – cheering on the clearances and interceptions as well. That Jeje chance was met with a collective sigh, though, he really should have scored.”

20’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Huge miss from Jeje! The dead-ball was beautifully floated in from the right and the Goa defence went to sleep, taking their eyes off the most potent Chennaiyin player. Jeje rushed into the header and slams it atleast five feet over the bar. Golden chance there.

18’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Huge cheers meet a rare attack from Chennai, who operate down the left. Alas, Jerry can’t keep it in touch and it is a throw-in for Goa. Another chance for the home side. They have a free-kick from the right and it is just 25 yards from goal.

15’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Another chance, and they keep on coming. How Chennai have survived without conceding a goal remains a mystery. Here, Lana misses an easy header, belting it way over the bar. Karanjit was beaten and the Goa player was unmarked in the box.

12’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Lanzarote unleashes a delicate shot but Karanjit is upto the task, diving full length to his left and pushing the ball behind for a corner.

12’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Free-kick at the edge of the box for Goa and Dhanapal Ganesh goes to the book for a clumsy tackle on Coro, who was making room to take a shot.

10’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Chennayin’s defence is put under severe pressure and Mandar is at the heart of every move. There was a goalmouth opportunity in the 10th minute of the game through Lanzarote’s cut-back. Mandar, a few yards away from goal, thumped the goal goalwards but the home side survive through a superb block by Sereno.

4’ Chennai 0-0 Goa Fine start for the away side. They are having a lion’s share of the possession. Coro ran into a promising position before being muscled off the ball at the by-line. Then Jerry almost scored a magnificent own goal after Mandar Rao Desai floated in a brilliant low cross into the box.

Hello and welcome to the live updates of the second semi-final between Chennaiyin and FC Goa. Both will renew their intense rivalry when they meet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Tuesday.

The two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Goa, which gives Chennaiyin a slender advantage because of the away goal, even though coach John Gregory denied it. “The away goal is a very minimal advantage,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s not something I will spend too much time thinking about. If we keep a clean sheet, we go through, but if they score then everything changes. There are many possibilities.”

Goa have scored the maximum number of goals this season (43 so far), while Chennaiyin haven’t been so prolific in finding the net, scoring only 25. However, Chennaiyin’s defence has been great this season and Gregory is confident his team can keep a clean sheet, but will prepare for the possibility of a penalty shootout.

(With inputs from AFP)

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