Chennai set up ISL final with Bengaluru FC

Evarado Alatorre
Marcha 14, 2018

Under the circumstances, Goa will have to score at least once if they harbour any hopes of making the final. On Tuesday, too, they will need to do something similar in order to advance to the ISL-4 final as Chennaiyin have already scored a crucial away goal in the first leg semifinal, which ended 1-1. The tightly-knit and organised backline of Chennaiyin, comprising Mailson Alves, Henrique Sereno, Inigo Calderon and Jerry Lalrinzuala, has been the most consistent and hardly yields any space to their opponents to operate. Chennaiyin, on the other hand, will continue to employ holding midfielders Bikramjit Singh and Dhanpal Ganesh, who played brilliantly in first leg, to stop Boumous.

As promised by the Goa coach, the home side came out playing to its strengths and never relaxed for even a moment.

Seeing his side not being able to create chances, Goa coach Sergion Lobera substituted defenders Narayan Das and Sergio Juste and midfielder Pranoy Halder, replacing them with defender Mohamed Ali, midfielder Brandon Fernandes and forward Markos JStefnios in the 66th minute. We also didn't have enough numbers in attack. But this match will be different.

The game was put to bed after Jeje dodged past Ali just in front of the box to put the ball rolling in to the net near the left post in the 90th minute, drawing a huge roar from the 18,00-odd city fans as they entered the final for the second time. When Chennaiyin attack, they hunt in a pack.

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Former champions Chennaiyin will face Bengaluru FC in the final in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The goal came about after another defensive lapse by FC Goa. It means that Goa can not relax even if they score and speaks volumes about the fitness of John Gregory's outfit.

Chennaiyin finally produced something of meaning when Gregory Nelson's super pass was met by Jeje's header, but it was wayward. Jeje, who is Chennaiyin's top scorer with seven goals, has been firing blanks in the last seven matches while Calderon has a gash on his right calf after sustaining a hard tackle in the last match. "Whatever it takes, we have to qualify tomorrow". My players will be very aware of the situation in case we ship a goal. Our focus will be to keep a clean sheet. "I think we had an exceptional first 25 minutes".

Goa couldn't fancy any chances as the match petered out, but it was Jeje again who could've sealed the match but his scissor-snapshot was loose and high as he attempted the half-volley. "No matter what, Calderon will play", Gregory said.

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