Doon boy Anirudh Thapa saves it all for Chennaiyin FC, Scores equalizer.
FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC played a hard fought battle as the result were in nobody’s favour with score-line 1-1 at the end of play in the first-leg of Hero Indian Super League(ISL) semifinal at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Saturday. The Spaniard Manuel Lanzarote(64’) scored the opener for the Gaurs but the substitute Anirudh Thapa(71’) settled the scores for the visitors.
The home team cannot open the scoring sheet at the 6th minute when Narayan crossed from the left flank and Chennai’s custodian Karanjit Singh miscued and the ball slipped through his hands and it fell in range of Ferran Corominas. But Ferran Corominas could not convert it into the goal as Jerry cleared the ball.
Against the flow of game, Chennai came close to scoring when in the 9th minute, Francis passed the ball to Jeje Lalpekhlua but the latter’s shot went away from the face of goal-post.
After the half-hour mark, Chennai had a thin chance to go ahead in the tie when in the 32nd minute Kattimani denied Bikramjit’s shot. Two minutes later, Kattimani saved the shot from Gregory and kept the score-line 0-0.
After that, there was no major action in the game and both teams went off the field with either of the teams not able to stir the scoreline. After 45 minutes of play, score-line remains 0-0 at the Fatorda Stadium.
Kattimani’s heroics kept the opposition at the bay as he saved at two quick successions after the inception of the second half. Firstly at 48th minute, Jeje Lalpekhlua just had to beat the keeper to score but Kattimani denied that chance. Secondly at 49th minute, Nelson shot was saved brilliantly by Kattimani.
Ferran Corominas was a constant threat to the Chennaiyin’s defence as he tried to break the deadlock and came close to it just before the hour mark when Pronay Halder played the ball with the Spanish but the latter’s shot was blocked by Mailson.
At the 64th minute, FC Goa drew the first blood with the help of Manuel Lanzarote. Mandar Rao Desai passed from the left flank to Corominas, Corominas made his way through Jerry and Sereno before busting a shot. Karanjit Singh made a save but it fell for Lanzarote who scored his 13th goals of the season to give the Gaurs lead in the crucial tie.
The turning point of the match came in 71st minute when the super-sub Anirudh Thapa scored the equalizer to silence the home crowd. Nelson assisted Anirudh and the latter made no mistake firing through between the Kattimani’s legs to equalize for his team.
At the 83rd minute, Inigo denied any possible chance when Corominas passed the ball from the left to Brandon but Inigo intercepted well to keep the score-line at 1-1.
FC Goa would be travelling to Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium for the second-leg fixture of the semi-final at March 13. Chennaiyin FC is having the away goal bonus and would want to keep it same.