In the first leg of their ISL semi-final, FC Goa shared spoils with Chennaiyin FC at the JL Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa on Saturday.
It was an entertaining opening first half with end-to-end play. As promised by the Goa coach, the home side came out playing to its strengths and never relaxed for even a moment.
After the break the visitors has two golden chances within the first few minutes, the first through Gregory Nelson and then though Jeje Lalpekhlua. However, Goa skipper and goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani did well on both occasions.
The homeside scored first through Manuel Lanzarote in the 64th minute after Corominas’s strike deflects off a defender and Lanza’s at the right place at the right time, firing it in from the goal-mouth.
The visitors equalised 7 minutes later through Anirudh Thapa after he scrambled to reach Nelson’s pass. He slides and shoots between the legs of Kattimani to stun the crowd into silence.
Speaking after the match Goa head coach Sergio Lobera admitted that although his team saw the ball more, they lacked numbers in attack.
“We had possession but it was very far away from the opponent’s goal. We didn’t have enough numbers when we were close to the goal. So, what this result shows is that the team was a little bit divided and physically it cost us a little bit as well,’’ he explained.
Lobera went on to say it was a challenge to to safe a tough side such as Chennaiyin at Fatorda but it won’t be impossible to net goals at Marina Arena on March 13.
“I think the result is yet to be decided. From what we have here, for us to go through, we need to score there. It was a little difficult to get a result against a team which is as well organised and defensively strong as they were today (Saturday). But having said that, for us, it’s not such an obstacle to go there and try and score a goal,’’ he commented.