132nd Durand Cup: FC Goa Beat Chennaiyin FC 4-1, March Into Semis - Eastern Mirror
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132nd Durand Cup: FC Goa beat Chennaiyin FC 4-1, march into semis

6091
By IANS Updated: Aug 26, 2023 10:40 pm
FC Goa (FCG), the 2021 champions, marched into the 132nd Durand Cup semifinals, beating Chennaiyin FC (CFC) 4-1 in the third quarterfinal
132nd Durand Cup
Photo : IANS

GUWAHATI — FC Goa (FCG), the 2021 champions, marched into the 132nd Durand Cup semifinals, beating Chennaiyin FC (CFC) 4-1 in the third quarterfinal at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Saturday.

After Bikash Yumnam had opened the scoring for Chennaiyin FC as early as the fifth minute, three of FC Goa’s foreign signings scored as Carl Mchugh struck one and assisted one, Noah Sadoui scored his fifth goal of the tournament, Carlos Martinez his third and Victor Rodriguez scored the final goal of the game.

Alexander “Sandy” Stewart was in charge of the Marina Machans on the day and he made as many as six changes to the side which played their final group game against Delhi FC.

Among those who started were Rahim Ali and Italian midfielder Christian Battocchio. Sarthak Goloui also made his debut for CFC. The Gaurs, with Gauramangi Singh at the helm, went one better with seven, bringing Dheeraj back in goal and Brandon back in midfield, while keeping among others, Rowlin Borges on the bench. Also starting for Goa was new signing Carl Mchugh.

The Marina Machans got an early goal when off an Akash Sangwan corner, floated high towards the far post, central defender Bikash Yumnam headed in powerfully.

Stung by the goal, the Gaurs responded with vigour and Carlos Martinez almost equalised but hit the bar with a header. Then Udanta misfired from close range.

They had to wait till the half-hour mark to finally get on level terms. Udanta and Brandon played a give-and-go on the right flank after which the former floated a cross which was headed back in front of the six-yard box by Noah from the far post.

Mchugh was at hand to place it past Chennaiyin keeper Samik, for his first goal in his very first game for his new club.

Noah almost put the Guars ahead a couple of minutes later, again getting behind an Udanta cross on the far post, but this time with only Samik to beat, misdirected his header.

The comeback was complete with a gem from yet another new signing, Spaniard Carlos Martinez Rodriguez. Udanta, who was peppering that right side, sent another menacing ball which was cleared by Sarthak.

But it only reached Sangwan nearby, who failed to control it and it fell for Carlos. The experienced Spanish striker took a touch with his back to goal, then turned Sangwan in and with a sight at goal and the keeper in front, executed an audacious chip over the keeper.

Stewart replaced Sachu Siby, who found Noah Sadoui too hot to handle, with Ajith at the break, realising the constant threat being caused by the American. Italian Battocchio was also replaced by Jiteshwor Singh in the midfield.

Chennaiyin did begin the more enterprising in the second half. Saviour Gama was booked for trying to stop one of those dangerous CFC forays by Jordan Murray just before the hour mark.

Stewart then brought on Vincy Barreto in place of Rahim Ali in search of the equalizer. The Gaurs also opted for a double change with Rowlin and Jay Gupta coming on in place of Saviour Gama and Raynier Fernandez. Bikash Yumnam then picked up an injury and Romario Jesuraj came on in his stead for the Marina Machans.

Chennaiyin’s pressure continued as Dheeraj brought up a brilliant save to deny Murray in the 72nd minute. Stewart made his final move bringing in Irfan Yadwad for Farukh Chowdhary. The Gaurs responded by bringing on Boris and Victor Rodriguez in place of Udanta and Carlos Martinez in the 78th minute, in a clear signal that they were taking no chances.

An Ayush Sangwan free-kick on target was yet again warded off by Dheeraj.  The Gaurs then made their final substitution, taking off Seriton and bringing in Leander D’Cunha.

The nail was finally driven into the CFC coffin, when Carl Mchugh turned provider in the first minute of added time, finding Noah’s run inside the box, who brought it down beautifully to nail it past Samik with a shot on the turn.

The CFC custodian was then beaten for a fourth time when Boris laid it into Victor’s path a couple of minutes later. The substitute took a brilliant first touch to leave his marker behind and blasted a left-footer into the left top corner of the Chennaiyin net.

It was a job well done for the Gaurs and an evening to forget for the Marina Machans.

Also read: IBSA World Games: Indian women’s blind cricket team wins historic gold, beat Australia in final

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6091
By IANS Updated: Aug 26, 2023 10:40:05 pm
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