Bhubhaneswar: FC Goa defeated Chennaiyin FC by 2-1 in the final of the Super Cup 2019 here at the Kalinga Stadium on Saturday. Goals from Ferrran Corominas and Brandon Fernandes ensured that the Goan outfit finally lay hand to their first ever silverware since they came into existence. Raphael Augusto was the lone goalscorer on the night for the side from Chennai.
Despite Goa being named as the favourites to take home the crown before the kickoff, it was Chennaiyin FC who started the game as the better of the two sides. Raphael Augusto, Anirudh Thapa and Dhanpal Ganesh controlled the proceedings from midfield. As the game crossed the 20-minute mark, Chennaiyin started imposing bundles of pressure on the Goan defence.
They created three consecutive chances in a space of just three minutes but failed to convert any. The first fell to Augusto, whose effort from Thapa’s cutback was brilliantly blocked by Mourtada Fall, denying an almost certain goal.
From the resulting corner, defender Eli Sabia had a chance to break the deadlock but his fierce near-post shot was well saved by Mohammad Nawaz in goal. The young goalkeeper was given no respite as he had to prove his fine shot-stopping abilities when Ganesh’s header seemed destined for the far post. Given the constant onslaught of pressure, fans in the stadium were left baffled that Chennaiyin had not put themselves in the lead yet.
Slowly but steadily, Goa started gaining a foothold in the game and could have scored themselves if not for some questionable finishing from Jackichand Singh. The winger only managed to sky his effort after some clever work from Hugo Boumous down the wing. In the end, both sides went into the break without finding the back of the net.
However, Goa drew first blood through their star forward Corominas. After Thapa cheaply gave the ball away near the halfway line, Boumous drove towards Chenaiyin’s goal, before forcing Karanjit to make a save. However, the rebound fell perfectly to the Spaniard, who tapped the ball home.
Just as it seemed that Goa would run away with the tie, Chennaiyin were back level as Raphael Augusto got hold of a loose ball just outside the box, firing a shot which took a massive deflection to deceive Nawaz.
However, the Gaurs didn’t let the goal deter them as they soon found themselves back in the lead as Corominas was once again at the heart of the action. The Spaniard picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and released Brandon with a perfectly weighted through-ball. The small-statured winger was quick on his feet as he beat Mailson Alves and Karanjit to slide the ball home – a truly remarkable goal.
As the match reached its final quarter, Goa could have sealed the tie when Boumous once again let Jackichand through. The winger had only Karanjit to beat but could not make the most of it. The rebound fell to Corominas, who was brought down inside the box. However, the referee waved away Goa’s claims of a penalty, instead pointing towards a goal-kick. Goa held on their nerves till the final whistle to claim their first-ever Hero Super Cup trophy.