Welcome back to another preview of the ISL playoff semi-finals. Pune vs Bengaluru wasn’t the greatest of matches but I am sure this game will make up for it as FC Goa play host to Chennaiyin, in a clash that could go either way. Goa have some of the best players in the league whilst Chennaiyin possess fantastic consistency which may benefit them more over two legs. Either way, let’s get straight to the stats ahead of this mouth-watering tie.
FC Goa head into the game with a 3rd place finish to their name, they performed miracles to get into the semi-finals by winning their last three ISL games. Having the league’s top goalscorer on their side has obviously meant they had the best goalscoring record in the ISL, scoring an incredible forty-two goals. Because of this scoring outburst, they didn’t like to defend that much, which meant they conceded a fair amount of goals, in total they conceded twenty-eight goals. Thanks to their fantastic run at the end of the season, they head into the playoffs in fantastic form, winning three, drawing one and losing one of their previous four. Will Coro and Co storm through Chennaiyin with their attacking presence?
Chennaiyin head into the game with a 2nd place finish to their name, their consistency definitely helped them in the end, but it could have been a much smoother ride. With them being a fairly, well-balanced team, they don’t possess amazing stats, they didn’t score that many goals, scoring twenty-four, over the course of the season. With that being said, their defensive record is quite impressive, conceding only nineteen goals this season and I am sure they will want to keep it as low as they possibly can. Being so consistent means Chennaiyin go into the playoffs unbeaten in their last five, winning two and drawing three on their way to securing a 2nd place finish. Will Chennaiyin be able to silence Coro and take the win?
Just like the Pune vs Bengaluru preview, I’ll be looking at their two meetings in the ISL this season and comparing them to give a two-leg aggregate score, as if they were competing in the playoffs.
I’ll start with their first meeting back in November 2017 where Goa came out on top in a 3-2 away win. It was an early contender for game of the season, with five goals being scored by Coro, Lanzarote and a host of others. Overall, the game was amazing and much better than their second meeting.
The less entertaining clash between the two sides took place in February, with Chennaiyin coming out on top with a 1-0 win. This game was much more conservative and the only thing it proves is that Chennaiyin knows how to silence Coro.
With that all being said, over the two games, the aggregate score would be 3-3. Now, in the old format, the tie would go to extra time and penalties, however, the ISL has now introduced the away goal rule meaning Goa would go through to the final on away goals. It’s a cruel way to go out but it’s much better than losing on penalties.
The Game Itself…
Looking at the last two meetings, this game has the potential to be one of the best games and one of the worst games ever. It also proves that Chennaiyin hold the key to silencing Coro and they could very well need that to stop him from taking the game into his own hands.
I was completely wrong about the Pune vs Bengaluru game but I am going to stick with my gut instinct with this one. This game, for some reason, is just screaming out to me as a goal fest. Any game with Coro and Lanzarote involved will always contain at least one goal. I just pray it’s better than the other playoff game.
I feel you already know who I am going to pick and, if you do, I am pretty sure you would pick him as well. However, some players deserve a mention at the very least. On Chennaiyin’s side, they possess some quality players. Jeje, Calderon, Mihelic, and Rafi are just some of the quality players and they can easily turn the tide of a game. I feel Jeje may be up for a brawl with Coro and try to outdo the top scorer, which could work or completely crash and burn.
It is really difficult to overlook the most dangerous pairing in this season’s ISL and possibly across the history of the league. Lanzarote and Coro have worked so well together that most teams are scared to play against them. Lanzarote has twelve goals to his name this season and a fair few assists too. My Key Player is Coro, you can’t just ignore the eighteen goals he has this season. He has bossed the league since day one and it’s quite frightening how quickly he has become a superstar.
With all this being said, I will simply leave you with this. Goa should be able to overthrow Chennaiyin’s efforts and win the game, however, it’s a pretty tough call. Coro could have an off game, he is human after all. However, I feel Goa won’t have to rely on Coro for their goals as they still have Lanzarote, Arana, and Boumous who can pop up with goals. I’ll go with a 2-1 win for Goa but never take my predictions seriously.