Margao: Young Indian player Sahil Tavora struck twice, including a last-gasp stunner, as FC Goa beat last edition champions Chennaiyin FC 5-4 in Indian Super League's highest scoring nail-biting match.
In a match between last edition finalists, which was also their respective final matches this season, Goa prevailed over the Chennai side with 21-year-old Tavora firing in a screamer from the edge of the box into the Chennaiyin goal with just a few seconds left in the three-minute injury added time to end a dramatic match.
Coming as substitute at the start of the second half, Tavora had scored his first goal of the match in the 68th minute. Goa's other goals came from Rafael Coelho (6th and 76th) and Joffre Gonzalez (21st).
Jerry Lalrinzuala (4th) Dudu Omagbemi (28th) and John Arne Riise (88th) scored for Chennaiyin while Goa player Gregory Arnolin conceded an own goal.
Goa, coached by legendary Brazillian footballer Zico, ended their campaign on a high but they still finished at the bottom of the league table with 14 points from 14 matches (4 wins, 2 draws, 8 losses).
In a way, they avenged last year's controversial summit clash at the same venue, where Zico's side ended as runners-up with Chennaiyin lifting the trophy.
Chennaiyin, coached by Italian World Cup winner Marco Materazzi, ended just one place above Goa at seventh place with 15 points from 14 matches (3 wins, 6 draws, 5 losses).
Both sides were out of the reckoning for a play-offs berths and with nothing at stake, they played freely and it was a goal fest and the nine goals scored on Thursday were the highest in the three-edition old ISL.
18-year-old Jerry Lalrinzuala of Chennaiyin also became the youngest scorer in ISL 3 when he curled in a brilliant free-kick into Goa net in the fourth minute of the match.
A move from the middle saw Richarlyson Felisbino foul on Anrirudh Thapa just outside the box and Lalrinzuala sent the ball to the far corner of the net giving keeper Laxmikant Kattimani no chance to react.
The home team retaliated almost immediately and found the equaliser two minutes later when Joffre Gonzlez sent a brilliant pass to Rafael Coelho who sent the ball past an onrushing keeper into the net.
The visitors once again took the lead in the 14th minute. Thoi Singh made a run into the box from the right, took a crack at the goal which keeper Kattimani blocked but the ball fell on the path of Anirudh Thapa whose shot deflected defender Gregory Arnolin and went in.
Goa were not disheartened and they counter-attacked to earn a penalty after Harmonjit Singh Kabra brought down Rafael Coelho inside the box and Joffre Gonzalez made no mistake as his left footer found the far corner of the net in the 21st minute.
The visitors were once again in the lead in the 28th minute through Dudu Omagbemi who, after receiving a through pass from Daniel Lalhimpuia, cut past onrushing keeper Kattimani and slotted the ball into the empty net to have Chennaiyin FC leading 3-2 at half time.
Goa brought in Tavora in place of Mandar Rao Desai after the break and they looked more enterprising in their attack as they kept rival keeper Karanjit Singh on his toes. After coming close on several occasion substitute Tavora equalised in the 68th minute.
Rafael Coelho then put Goa in the lead for the first time when he was put through by Trinade Goncalves as he beat rival keeper Karanjit Singh to find the back of the net in the 76th minute.
The visitors brought fresh pairs of legs by making a couple of changes and the move paid off as they equalised in the 88th minute after Goa defender Raju Gaikwad handled the ball inside the box off a throw-in by substitute John Riise who converted the penalty with a fierce shot.
But Goa had the last laugh when they scored the winner in the injury stoppage time through Tavora who cut past a rival defender on the left and essayed a shot which beat keeper Karanjit all ends up.
Published Date: Dec 01, 2016 10:59 pm | Updated Date: Dec 01, 2016 11:00 pm