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Chennaiyin dramatically beat Goa to clinch 2015 ISL title

Photo Courtesy: ISL's official website
Photo Courtesy: ISL’s official website

Chennaiyin FC grabbed two very late goals to take the game away from FC Goa and lift the 2015 ISL title at the Fatorda stadium.

Bruno Pelissari’s early second half strike was immediately cancelled out by Thongkhosiem Haokip, before Jofre grabbed the lead for Goa in the 87th minute. A 90th minute own goal from Laxmikant Kattimani again levelled the scores, but Stiven Mendoza struck in the in the first minute of injury time to seal the 2015 ISL crown for Chennaiyin.

Zico named an unchanged side that beat Delhi Dynamos 3-0 in the second leg semifinals. Marco Materazzi, on the other hand, made a single change to his side that lost to Atletico de Kolkata in the second leg semifinals, with Elano Blumer making way for Pelissari.

After a pretty cautious start from both the sides, the first chance of the game arrived in the 17th minute for the visitors, when Mendoza and Pelissari combined well to get past Goa’s defence. The Brazilian international, after moving into an excellent position, fired an effort, but his shot was just over.

A couple of minutes later, at the other end, Goa were awarded a free-kick in a very dangerous position, near the left byline. However, Jonatan wasted the free-kick as his delivery went straight down Edel’s throat.

In the 20th minute, a long ball from the midfield sent Mendoza clean through on goal. However, in the end, Kattimani came off his line and cleared the danger. The goalkeeper then foolishly pushed Mendoza in an off the ball incident, but luckily for Goa, Kattimani wasn’t penalised.

13 minutes later, Goa nearly took the lead as Moura’s grounded free-kick narrowly missed the target, after taking a slight deflection off Wadoo. Rafael managed to connect with the resulting corner (from Jonatan Lucca), but Thoi Singh was able to clear.

Chennai got an excellent opportunity to go ahead in the 38th minute, when an excellent one-two passing between Mendoza and Jeje saw the latter move beyond Pronay Halder. The Colombian fired an effort, but his left footed shot was kept out by Kattimani.

Materazzi’s side finally broke the deadlock in the 54th minute through Pelissari. Chennai were awarded a penalty after Mendoza was brought down inside the box by Halder.Although Kattimani managed to save Pelissari’s penalty with an excellent dive towards his left, the Brazil scored from the rebound.

Chennai’s lead, however, did not last long as Goa grabbed the equaliser after only four minutes through Haokip. Romeo, after finding a lot of space on the right, sent a brilliant ball towards the face of the goal, and Haokip made no mistakes as he found the nets with the simplests of tap ins.

At the hour mark, Chennai got a very good opportunity to retake the lead after being awarded another penalty, following Kattimani’s foul on Mendoza. The Colombian stepped forward, but his spotkick was easily saved by Kattimani.

Five minutes later, Jofre’s looping corner was flicked towards Haokip, but the Manipuri striker was unable to get a shot through. The ball eventually fell to Arnolin, but his effort went over.

In the 75th minute, Romeo picked out Rafael with a good pass, and the Brazilian immediately sent a cross into the box. Haokip managed to connect with Rafael delivery, but his effort was saved by Edel.

With three minutes of normal time remaining, Goa took the lead through Jofre. A handball from Blasi saw Goa win a free-kick in a very dangerous position, just outside the box. Jofre stepped up and found the nets with a brilliant low free-kick that sneaked past Edel’s outstretched arms.

However, their lead didn’t last as Chennaiyin soon grabbed the equaliser through an own goal from Kattimani in the 89th minute. The Chennai goalkeeper, while trying to punch Mehrajuddin Wadoo’s long ball inside the box, ended up directing the ball into his own net.

Just when the game looked like it was heading towards extra time, Mendoza grabbed the winner for Chennai in the first minute of extra time. Rane picked out Mendoza with an excellent long ball on the left, and the Colombian, after controlling the ball with his chest, showed great composure to clinically slot the ball past Kattimani.

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