Chennaiyin FC, who did well in defending their citadel for better part of the first half, too came up with risky counter-attacks with Jeje and Gregory Nelson's low shot narrowly missing the target. Jeje doubled his tally during the dying minutes to drive the final nail in Goa's coffin. They now face Bengaluru FC in the final in Bangalore. Congratulations on a splendid season to Sergio and the team. They frustrated the home team with their neat passing as Chennaiyin's defensive line worked overtime in the first 15 minutes defending corner after corner.
Mailson Alves (6.5/10) - The central defender played the no-nonsense game in the Chennaiyin FC defence as he put in crunching tackles and made crucial clearances from the back.
The coach dismissed the "away goal advantage" as minimal and said the team isn't thinking about it at all. There was an aggression and a goal to their passing with the players bringing in a lot of energy.
After a slow start, CFC began to gain more of the ball and had their first real chance when Francisco's attempted cross hit Narayan Das' arm in the 21st minute. But Chennaiyin's defence stood firm, barely making any mistakes. Manuel Lanzarote's opening goal was cancelled out by a strike from substitute Anirudh Thapa, setting up the stage for the second leg in the Marina Arena. Goalkeeper Karanjit Singh ensured that Goa remain goalless throughout the match along with defender Henrique Sereno. We just go about our job as normal. "They have fantastic personalities and are approachable". Nelson's subsequent free kick found Jeje unmarked inside the area but the forward could not time his leap well and sent the header over the bar. Greogory Nelson' free-kick was headed over by Lalpekhlua in the 24th minute. Goa's defence was left stunned.
While it was Chennaiyin that upset Goa's applecart in a knockout last time around, Tuesday would offer Goa the best chance at revenge and Chennaiyin will come out all guns blazing to stop a rampaging Goa.
Goa's defence was caught napping again in dealing with a cross on their right from Nelson in the 29th minute. Goa had a mountain to climb in the second half and they couldn't eventually scale it. While the coach indicated that Inigo Caledron, who was involved in a bad tackle that left him injured, would be in the starting XI, the focus would be on the experienced Raphael Augusto to make make inroads into Goa's half and build the pressure while Jeje Lalpekhlua would also be keen to get back on the score sheet, after having a barren run for nearly seven games.
As the second half began, Chennaiyin again looked threatening on the set-pieces. Jeje then wrapped things up in the 90th minute when Gavilan's through-ball was not controlled by Ali. Jeje calmly finished with his left foot and sparked off the celebrations among the 19013-strong crowd.
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