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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Mendoza stars as Chennaiyin FC clinch ISL 2 title

PHOTOS: Mendoza stars as Chennaiyin FC clinch ISL 2 title

Last updated on: December 20, 2015 22:04 IST

Chennaiyin FC's Stiven Mendoza celebrates a goal

IMAGE: Chennaiyin FC's Stiven Mendoza celebrates after scoring against FC Goa at the Nehru Stadium in Margao on Sunday. Photograph: ISL

Stiven Mendoza was the star of the night as Chennaiyin FC beat FC Goa 3-2 in a dramatic final to clinch the 2nd edition of the Indian Super League at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao on Sunday.

After a barren first half, both teams upped the tempo but Chennai scored first in the 52nd minute after they were awarded a penalty.

Bruno Pelassari took the penalty and scored on the rebound to give Chennai the lead.

Six minutes later, Goa equalised after Thongkhosiem Haokip tapped in a cross from the right.

But a dramatic final five minutes saw Columbian Mendoza take centre-stage as he was involved in Chennai’s equaliser in the 90th minute that was an own-goal by Kattimani and then seconds later poked in the winner in the 93rd minute to take home the title.

Congratulating the new champs, Chennaiyin FC co-owner and India's ODI captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni tweeted: "A well deserved final game in ISL.  Fantastic skill by both the teams. Congrats to Chennaiyin fans and team, well done boys."

Chennai's Jeje Lalpekhlua said after the win: "We would like to dedicate this victory to the people of Chennai!"

The match started out slowly but as the pace was built up the challenges came and the tackles flew.

Chennai had more possession but Goa had more shots on goal in the first half.

Chennaiyin's Stiven Mendoza had the best chance in the first half with a low shot which Kattimani thwarted out.

The second half also started at a lazy pace with action centred around midfield.

FC Goa's Thongkhosiem Haokip celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Chennaiyin FC

IMAGE: FC Goa's Thongkhosiem Haokip celebrates after scoring the equaliser against Chennaiyin FC. Photograph: ISL

The deadlock was broken in the 52nd minute after Goa’s Pranoy clipped Chennai’s Mendoza from behind inside the box to gift Chennai a penalty.

Bruno Pelassari took the penalty and his first attempt from the spot was brilliantly saved by Kattimanni but midfielder did well to find the net on the incoming rebound to score his 3rd goal of the season and give Chennaiyin the lead.

Minutes later, in a counter-attack move, Romeo gave a sharp cross to an unmarked Haokip on the far post who poked in the ball in the 58th minute to draw level.

A minute later Mendoza won another penalty for his side when he was felled by keeper Kattimani who came out to stop the Columbian in the box.

Kattimani dived to his left and executed a brilliant save to deny Mendoza and keep the scoreline unchanged.

There were plenty of heated exchanges and heavy tackles following that but the noisy Goans ensured that their players had their backing.

Goa were more purposeful in the second half and showed more sting.

Stiven Mendoza scores the winner

IMAGE: Stiven Mendoza scores the winner. Photograph: ISL

With under 20 minutes to go, Goa had a chance to go up when Rafael Coelho drove a cross from the right in which was beautifully met by Haokip in front of goal, but Chennai ‘keeper Edel showed good reflexes to deny the hosts.

In another duel in front of goal between Mendoza and Kattimani, the latter came up trumps again to deny the Chennai forward in the 84th minute.

Both teams upped the pressure in the final five minutes and Goa had a chance to take a lead when they were handed a free-kick in the 85th minute after Chennai’s Blasi handled the ball outside the box.

Joffre had enough on the free-kick to send his left-footed pile driver crashing into the net and give Goa the lead three minutes from full-time.

Mendoza equalised in the 90th minute after an own goal by ‘keeper Kattimani but seconds later the Columbian scored the winner for Chennai when he outplayed the defence and won a one-on-one against Kattimani in injury time.