The Stage is set, after 2 months we have our Hero ISL finalist. FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC have made it to the finals. FC Goa displayed an outstanding performance in 2nd leg of semi-final to overcome the 1 goal deficit of 1st leg and score 3 goals in 2nd leg to win 3-1 on aggregate against Delhi Dynamos FC (DDFC). On other hand Chennaiyin FC destroyed the defending champions Atletico De Kolkata (ATK) in 1st Leg of game by scoring 3 goals gave them a upper hand in 2nd leg of game. Although ATK won the 2nd leg by 2-1 both it wasn’t sufficient to qualify for finals as they lost 4-2 on aggregate. Both the teams quailed for semis last year and closely missed out for finals. This year they have chance to be “The New Kings”.
FC Goa has been a consistent team this season. FCG won 7 matches and lost only 3, which is the lowest matches lost by a team this season, in group stage has given good performance this season. Their performance in 1st Leg of semi-final was bit dull as they approached very defensive football. Thing didn’t fall at right places for Zico and they eventually lost that match. But he didn’t give up and made his men comeback strong in 2nd leg. Within 20 minutes they were 2 goals up and they made their intensions clear. Then Dudu’s goal secured they position in finals. FC Goa has upper hand as they are playing in their home ground and a massive home support will boost them. But last time when these team met at Fatorda, Chennaiyin destroyed them as they scored 4 goals against them. This season FCG has won 1 game against CFC played at Marina Area by 2-0. Romeo, Gregory and Dudu have been outstanding this season
Chennaiyin FC journey this season has been a roller-coaster ride. They have been at top of table and even at rock bottom this season. CFC won 7 and lost 6 this season and overall performance was above par. Mendoza-Elano duo has been outstanding while Jeje has displayed top-notch performance this season. Their performance in 1st half was brilliant as they were very calm and composed. While in 2nd leg they were little disengaged and perforce was not up to the mark. Mendy made few mistakes at defence line for which they had to pay. But it was Fikru who stole the show with his late goal which reduced the pressures from Machans.
The Final of Hero ISL will kick-off at 7.00 PM IST on Sunday, 20th December, 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa. Match will be aired live on StarSports 2 (English), StarSports 3 and Star Gold (in Hindi). Live streaming would also be live on starsports.com and Hotstar (little delay).
FC Goa (FCG): Andrade, Gregory, Gaikwad, Lucio, Moura, Das, Romeo, Jofre, Dudu, Haokip, Reinaldo
Chennaiyin FC (CFC): Bete, Wadoo, Mailson, Mendy, Balwant Singh, Thoi, Blasi, Zakeer, Jeje, Mendoza, Elano
FC Goa (FCG): Lucio, Romeo
Chennaiyin FC (CFC): Elano, Mendoza
FC Goa has the advantage of playing at home ground in front of their fans while Chennai has beaten them in Fatorda this season. Chennai has strong midfield but of late their defence makes mistakes which costs them badly while Goa has strong defence but with like of Mendoza Jeje and Elano its tough to stop them. But Chennai has performed better in pressure situations which give them an upper hand in match.
FC Goa (FCG) 1 – Chennaiyin FC (CFC) 2