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ISL: FC Goa pip Chennaiyin FC to reach the semi-final, to face Mumbai City

FC Goa defeated Chennaiyin FC in the second playoff match to reach the semifinals of ISL season 10.

ISL: FC Goa pip Chennaiyin FC to reach the semi-final, to face Mumbai City

FC Goa Regains Top Spot 


Press Release

Updated: 20 April 2024 4:36 PM GMT

After a wait of three long years, FC Goa will march on to the semi-finals of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season, following their 2-1 victory over Chennaiyin FC in the playoffs at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.

Noah Sadaoui and Brandon Fernandes scored the goals for the Men in Orange, while Lazar Cirkovic netted a consolation strike for the Southerners. Earlier in the day, four changes were made to Goa’s starting XI by head coach Manolo Marquez, but he was well within reason to do so.

Nim Dorjee Tamang completed his one-match ban for accumulating four yellow cards during the league phase and returned to pair up with Odei Onaindia in the heart of defence, after the Spanish centre-back also sat out for the league match against the same opponents last Sunday.

Similarly, Rowllin Borges rejoined the midfield department to replace Ayush Chhetri, while Seriton Fernandes made way for Boris Singh at right-back to allow Mohammad Yasir to operate higher up on the right flank.

The Gaurs then took control of the proceedings right from kick-off. Had Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper Debjit Majumder not put his hand out to save Noah’s shot from an acute angle, they could have taken the lead in the 10th minute itself.

The breakthrough finally happened in the 36th minute, when Carl McHugh capitalised on a defensive lapse to assist the Moroccan, who slotted the ball home from close range to notch the 29th goal of his FC Goa career.

Nine minutes later, Goa skipper Brandon Fernandes took matters into his own hands, collecting the ball and setting off on a run forward from close to the halfway line before pulling the trigger from over 25 yards out. The Indian international’s shot flew right into the top corner of the net, and Debjit could only watch on in dismay.

In the final minute of added time in the first half, Chennaiyin FC scored one back through Cirkovic. The Gaurs’ shot-stopper Dheeraj Singh couldn’t quite latch on to the ball as he dived to make a save from a corner-kick, and the Serbian centre-back pounced on and directed it into an empty net.

Following the change of ends, Manolo Marquez and his boys had to be extra cautious and not let their opponents’ momentum carry forward, which they accomplished in near-perfect fashion.

On the other end, Noah, Boris and Carlos Martinez got a handful of opportunities to add to their one-goal advantage, but luck favoured the opponents on each of those occasions. Eventually, after showcasing great resilience defensively throughout a crucial second period, the Men in Orange maintained their lead till full-time and emerged winners.

They will now regroup for the ISL 2023-24 semi-finals, where they will take on Mumbai City FC across two legs - one at home and the other away.

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