FC Goa finally break the winless jinx of four matches as Jorge Ortiz's sensational strike help them overcome a resolute Chenaiyin FC side at the PJN Stadium on Saturday night in the Indian Super League 2021-22.
While there was only a single goal late in the game, the game was filled with highlights and several exciting moments. Starting from homecomings, debuts to resurgence it had everything.
Therefore we at The Bridge list out the five most exciting talking points from FC Goa's win over Chennaiyin FC.
Valskis' bland comeback
Nerijus Valskis made a shock return to Chennaiyin this season from Jamshedpur. The Lithuanian striker has great memories in the royal blue as he guided them to the finals from a very precarious situation. Although they did not win the trophy, they were sensational under former coach Owen Coyle. While Coyle was the architect, Valskis was surely the buoyant force for the Marina Machans.
Therefore Chennaiyin FC fans are very hopeful about the comeback. They were concerned about Rafael Crivellaro's unavailability but Valskis' would surely boost the team's morale. However, he did not look his best against Goa. He probably is not as his physical best and that was pretty evident. So a very ordinary return for the Lithuanian but he will hope to get back up and running in the coming games.
Anwar Ali announces his arrival in ISL
It was a sensational debut for Anwar Ali who hardly looked like a youngster playing his first game at this level. He was calm composed and very good with his movement and game reading. He supported Aiban Dohling really well at the back but repaid the trust that Derick Pereira has shown in him.
Anwar Ali was one of India brightest stars in the Indian U-17 team that featured in the FIFA U-17 World Cup back in 2017. But since then it has been a tough journey for the young defender. But he is finally here and by looking at his performance he is surely here to stay. He rightfully got the 'Hero of the match' award for keeping the likes of Valskis and Mirlan Murzaev at bay on his debut.
Can this be a resurgence for Jorge Ortiz?
This goal and performance against Chennaiyin Fc to help FC Goa win all three points can surely help Jorge Ortiz Mendoza get back in form. Ortiz has had a slow start to the current campaign unlike the last one where he led the lines for the Gaurs. Ortiz was exceptional in the AFC Champions League as well. The Spaniard scored a historic goal against Persepolis to mark FC Goa's great performance at the continental tournament.
But Ortiz had been a shadow of his former self and similarly, FC Goa have also struggled for results this season. But against Chennaiyin, Ortiz once again stepped up and scored a long-range stunner to help his team get back to winning ways. The solitary goal against Chennaiyin was his third goal of this season along with three assists. Derrick Pereira will hope that this goal helps Ortiz get back in form so that the Gaurs can continue their winning run.
Hot and cold night for Debjit Majumder
Chennaiyin FC started the season with Vishal Kaith under the bar, but his poor run ofo performances forced head coach Bozidar Bandovic to swap things. Bandovic brought Debjit Majumder to the starting eleven and till now he has done a decent job. He made his first start against Jamshedpur FC and kept a clean sheet.
However, his second outing against FC Goa was far from easy. The Chennaiyin custodian came up with a few scintillating saves to keep his team in the game. he was great with his reflexes and decisions to charge out of his lines. But there were a few areas of concern for Majumder, especially with his ball handling.
He is not the tallest goalkeeper around and that works against him especially during aerial deliveries. Opponent players are pointing out this flaw and are trying to drill in loopy balls, putting the Chennaiyin custodian in massive distress. Majumder has had his issues with managing aerial balls and once again FC Goa players brought it back to daylight. Majumdar was lucky that Edu Bedia's corner kick struck the post as he was once again beaten in the flight. If he wants to cement his place in the starting eleven, Majumder needs to work on these weaknesses.
Chennaiyin lacked creativity in the middle
Despite having some exceptional players in the midfield and also in attack, the Marina Machans have lacked that enforce who can connect midfield to attack. A role that was assigned to Rafael Crivellaro. While Nerijus Valskis is a great forward who will score goals, he is not someone from whom you can except ball progression.
Chennaiyin FC play the pragmatic brand of football and for that, they need someone who can carry the ball up the field especially during counterattacks. While Anirudh Thapa has tried his best and has been superb with the ball, he has not been as effective as someone like a Crivellaro. Whereas Hungarian midfielder Vladimir Koman is more of a deep-lying playmaker. So they still lack that man who can play in the hole and augment the midfield to the attack.