FC Goa beat Chennaiyin FC 2-1 to make it to semifinals


Manolo Marquez has done it. In his first season with FC Goa, he helped them to qualify for the semifinals.

FC Goa, playing at their home, defeated Owen Coyle's Chennaiyin FC 2-1 in the second playoff match of the season on Saturday. First half goals from Noah Sadaoui and Brandon Fernandes ensured Goa take the victory on the night. They will face Mumbai City FC in the two-legged semifinal.

It was a deserving win considering Goa were the better team throughout the match. They started strongly and tested Chennaiyin right from the opening minute where Noah had the chance to give them the lead but his shot ended up being a weak one.

But Noah eventually gave them the lead in the 36th minute when he got the ball after Carl McHugh put the pressure running from the midfield. Noah took a touch and came up with a superb finish from his left foot. Debjit Majumber got his hands to the ball but not enough to push it away.

Nine minutes later, Brandon made it 2-0 after a sensational long-ranger. He received the ball from defence, made a clever turn to beat his marker and found acres of space ahead of him. He pressed forward and smashed it from outside the box towards Debjit's left and found the target. No chance for the goalkeeper and Goa were up by two goals.

However, Chennaiyin quickly reduced the deficit when Lazar Cirkovic scored from a corner. Goa goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh spilled a simple catch on the bounce and Cirkovic was the first to react.

Coyle hoped his team would create better chances in the second half and despite being good on the ball, they failed to come up with solid opportunities to score. He made multiple chances and tried to infuse more energy into the game but Goa's defence could not be breached.

Here's the semifinal line up:

Odisha vs Mohun Bagan 1st leg on April 23.

FC Goa vs Mumbai City FC 1st leg on April 24.

Mohun Bagan vs Odisha 2nd leg on April 28.

Mumbai City vs FC Goa 2nd leg on April 29.