Chennaiyin FC – Formation: 4-3-3
Chennai made five changes from the 3-1 loss to Delhi Dynamos. Duwayne Kerr was replaced by young Karanjit Singh in goal, while Sabia was brought in for Mendy in central defence. Left back also saw a change with Nallappan Mohanraj making way for Jerry Lalrinzuala. Chennai also modified their formation from a 4-4-2 to a loose 4-3-3, with Blasi joining Mulder and Raphael Augusto in central midfield. Up front, Succi started in place of Dudu Omagbeni.
FC Goa: Formation 4-3-1 -2
Goa persisted with their core and made only one change from the weekend loss to FC Pune City. Wide midfielder Mandar Rao Dessai replaced by central midfielder Sahil Tavora, with a slight modification in their shape.
Chennai’s offensive strategy
Chennai broadened their field of play by utilizing the central as well as the wide areas of the pitch. Blasi sat a little deeper than fellow central midfielders Raphael Augusto and Hans Mulder, and they worked well with Riise and co. In defense. Mulder, especially, in the first half, made influential runs and passes in the midfield and attacking third of the pitch, and was rewarded early in the game with a goal. He received the ball just outside the penalty box, and angled the ball into the net perfectly past the outstretched hands of Kattimani, to give Chennai the lead.
Chennai also employed the wide areas through Wadoo and Jerry. Wadoo was captain on the night, and celebrated the honour by getting on the scoresheet himself. He attacked well, making well-timed runs on the right and delivering dangerous passes and crosses into the box. For the second goal, he had the ball inside the box and went for goal. The ball caught a deflection from a Goa defender on the way but nevertheless flew into the back of the net.
Chennai’s defensive strategy
Chennai defended strongly, with Raphael Augusto and Mulder regularly tracking back to help out their defence. Especially in the second half when Goa went into a higher gear, their presence paid dividends. The full backs also had a tiring game, having to run up and down the sides for attacks and defending respectively. With Goa executing wave after wave of attack, Chennai sat back and patiently waited for counter attack opportunities to hit Goa, but could not score more than the two goals in the first half.
Build up play and general set up – Goa:
With Zico preferring a defensive formation for away games, this one at Chennai was not different. Goa lined up with one defensive midfielder in Sanjay Balmuchu, two central midfielders Sahil Tavora and Trindade Goncalves and attacking midfielder Joffre. Balmuchu played very deep in his own half, almost forming a straight line with his full backs. He was defensively solid along with Rafael Dumas, and they were instrumental in restricting Chennai’s attackers to the two goals. Ahead of him, Sahil Tavora was tasked with dropping into his own half to collect the ball, and Trindade Goncalves was given the responsibility of being a mobile midfielder with stamina, capable of constantly being on the move. Joffre was as usual the playmaker, trying to set up forwards Reinaldo and Rafael Coelho.
Goa’s attacking tactics:
Sahil Tavora regularly tracked back to receive the ball from the centre backs and Sanjay Balmuchu. Unlike Chennai’s full backs, Goa’s right back and left back did not attack too much, and most of the offensive build up was carried out through Sahil Tavora and Joffre in the middle. At times, it could be seen the Rafael Coelho shifted into the left wing position, contributing to the build up play. This left Reinaldo up front, who tried to find free spaces in the attacking third.
As has been typical of Goa’s campaign so far, many chances were created but most attacks lacked end product. Even after the introduction of Richarlyson, Romeo and Julio Cesar brought in a good tempo but couldn’t result in Goal.
Goa’s defensive performance:
Another trend that has repeated itself in Goa’s ISL 2016 season is that they concede early goals. It has happened in all three games so far. However, after the first thirty minutes, Balmuchu and Dumas were strong in the air and the ground, and did not let Chennai get many more chances on goal. The full backs were disciplined and kept their positions, but the two early goals conceded meant FC Goa fell to another defeat.