Virat Kohli expressed his disappointment after FC Goa’s semi-final loss. © ISL
India skipper and FC Goa co-owner Virat Kohli on Tuesday expressed his disappointment after his team crashed out of the Indian Super League (ISL) in the two-legged semi-final tie against Chennaiyin FC. Despite the loss, Kohli posted a heartfelt message for the players on his official Twitter account. “Disappointed that we couldn’t make it to the finals, but great courage shown by the boys! Congratulations on a splendid season to Sergio and the team. @FCGoaOfficial #ForcaGoa #WeTogether #HeroISL”, he captioned it.
Chennaiyin FC reached their second ISL final in three years as they outsmarted Goa 3-0 (4-1 aggregate) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai. The tie was evenly poised after the first leg ended 1-1 but a brace from Jeje Lalpekhlua (26 and 90 minutes) and one goal from Dhanpal Ganesh (29 minutes) was enough for Chennaiyin FC to seal a place in the final. They will now clash with Bengaluru FC at Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru on Saturday. Jeje could have easily had a hat-trick but missed a handful of chances. However, when it mattered most, he put the ball in the back of the net as Chennaiyin turned a stunning first half on its head by scoring two goals in quick succession completely against the run of play.
For the first 21 minutes, it was all FC Goa. The visitors were incredible in attack and produced a flurry of chances. Mandar Rao Dessai and Narayan Das combined to send in a stinging cross across the face of goal which Jerry Lalrinzuala almost turned into his own net.
Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh was the busiest man on the pitch in this period where Goa sent waves towards goal. Hugo Boumous played in Mandar soon after and his shot went in off the inside of Karanjit’s thigh and eventually out of play. Karanjit was at it again when he made a stunning save to deny Manuel Lanzarote from a powerfully driven freekick.