Second Finalist To Be Decided As Chennaiyin And Goa Face Off In A Tied Game

Match Preview Indian Super League

Well, this is it, the last playoff semi-final game will be played and it could be a tasty affair. We finally get to see how an away goal in the first leg affects the second leg as Chennaiyin play host to FC Goa. The first leg was pretty lacklustre, however, Chennaiyin got that crucial away goal and head into the game with an advantage over Goa. How will it pan out? Well, read on and get my opinion on the game.

The Stats…   

As I did with the second Bengaluru vs Pune preview, I will try to keep this section as short and sweet as possible. Chennaiyin, who have the home advantage, head into the game with a 2nd place finish to their name. With the 1-1 draw in the first leg, their goalscoring record has improved to twenty-five goals across the season and their defensive record has increased to twenty-goals conceded this season. The draw keeps Chennaiyin’s unbeaten streak alive and extends it to six games. They have the crucial away goal; can they hold on and meet Bengaluru in the final?   

Goa, who are the visitors in the second leg, head into the game with a 3rd place finish to their name and have the best partnership in the ISL, in Coro and Lanzarote. Goa’s goalscoring record improved thanks to that 1-1 draw, taking their season total to forty-three goals, however, they conceded a goal so their total goes to twenty-nine goals conceded over the season. With the draw, Goa are now unbeaten in five games so both teams have unbeaten streaks on the line. Can Coro and Lanzarote perform to their high standards, one last time?   

Previous Encounter…   

In the first leg preview piece, their two meetings in the league came to an aggregate scoreline of 3-3, with Goa going through on away goals. With the first leg ending 1-1, this 3-3 aggregate scoreline could easily come true, with Goa going through on away goals coming true as well.   

The first leg ended 1-1 and the game itself was pretty lacklustre, just like the first leg between Bengaluru and Pune. Chennaiyin were happy to sit back and defend for the ninety minutes, this was working until Lanzarote scored on sixty-four minutes and Chennaiyin had to push for a goal. Goa’s lead didn’t last too long as Thapa equalised on seventy-one minutes, making it 1-1 and giving Chennaiyin that crucial away goal. 1-1 was the final scoreline in a pretty boring game.    

The Game Itself…    

We are all hoping for a better game than the first leg, however, I can see it being worse. Chennaiyin have that crucial away goal and they can afford to sit back and defend a 0-0 scoreline, as they would go through on away goals.    

The game needs an early Goa goal, which eliminates the away goal advantage that Chennaiyin has over them. With this early Goa goal, both teams then have to go for the win, Goa never like to defend even when they’re in the lead and Chennaiyin will need a goal to take it to extra-time and penalties.    

Key Player…   

Surprisingly, I’m not going with the usual suspect in this one. Chennaiyin have some fantastic players who can easily stop Goa from taking the game into a goal-fest. The likes of Ganesh, Calderon, Sereno, and Mailson are key to Chennaiyin holding onto that crucial away goal. They also have Jeje, who may have to find the net if Goa score. Their main man for the game, however, will be Gregory Nelson. He dominated the first leg and was doing everything for Chennaiyin.   

Now onto Goa and their destructive partnership. Lanzarote and Coro need to step up for their team in this game, Coro needs to put his scoring boots on and Lanzarote, my choice for Key Player, needs the game to flow through himself. If Lanzarote can control the game like Nelson did in the first leg, then Goa progress with ease.   


With all this being said, I will simply leave you with this. Goa need to score early on, in order to save the tie. No one will want to watch a game where Chennaiyin just sits back and stops Goa from playing their usual game, it’ll be boring and won’t showcase what the ISL is all about. I’m going for a 2-1 win for Goa, but I can’t call the game as it relies on Goa getting that crucial early goal. Let’s just pray, together, for a better game this time around.  

About the Author

Stephen Beavon
Just a young football fan who likes to get his opinion across to others. Love Birmingham City, although it is difficult at times.