The thrilling game between Mumbai and Kochi yesterday, gave Chennai a lifeline before their game against Kochi today. Chennai needed to win by a margin of two goals against Kochi in order to qualify for the next round. Both teams started out in cautious fashion. The most clear-cut chance of the first quarter fell to Anupam whose close range side-foot effort was saved by the keeper.
Chances were few and far between as players were reduced to shots from distance in the first ten minutes. The deadlock was finally broken by Chennai in the second quarter. On the breakaway, it was 3 v 1 and Camilo received the ball on the left and the Colombian smashed the ball into the net. But the job was only half done. With three minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, Chennai got their second goal. From a corner, Nanda made a near post run and like a true poacher he managed to squeeze it into the net, despite the defender putting all kinds of pressure on him. Kochi needed a goal to gain the advantage once again.
Espindola made an incredible save in the second half to prevent Kochi getting a goal back in the game. The keeper dived to his left and tipped a thunderbolt of a drive. At the other end, the Kochi keeper made low crucial save in split second first through a deflection and then from Camilo’s powerful drive. In the 4th quarter Chennai almost made it 3-0 as their new recruit almost caught the Kochi keeper off guard with an attempt from his own half, but it was just wide off the post.
With three minutes to play, Kochi finally got their goal through Moraes after a wonderful through pass by Chaguinha to make it 2-1. Next from provider, he turned goalscorer with a smart finish from the right to make it 2-2.
Chennai once again got themselves the advantage after Falcao’s powerful drive to put them 3-2 ahead. But with seconds left in the game Chaguinha produced a moment of magic with a brilliant long-range strike that sent his teammates into ecstasy. A dramatic game ended in disappointment for Chennai but for Kochi it’s another step closer to the trophy.
(Premier Futsal Press Release)