Stiven Mendoza scored the first hat-trick of the tournament as Chennaiyin FC thrashed FC Goa 4-0 in a third round match of Indian Super League football in Margao on Sunday.
Chennaiyin FC, who had lost two of their earlier matches, showed determination to win today as they displayed impressive, attacking football to outplay FC Goa with Mendoza finding the back of the net in the 10th, 63rd and 75th minutes.
Captain and marquee player Elano Blumer got the other goal for the visiting side in the 43rd minute as the Abhishekh Bachchan-owned Chennaiyin FC silenced the Goa crowd at the Nehru Stadium to record their first win in the tournament.
Mendoza put the rival defense under pressure with his speedy runs and put his team ahead in the 10th minute. The home team then succumbed to the pressure and conceded another goal before the interval through Elano.
Colombian Mendoza, who was a constant threat to the FC Goa defence, then scored two more goals in the 63rd and 75th minute to kill the contest.
The home team, who were a disjointed lot, with their midfield not working and defence crumbling under pressure, came with couple of good moves and nearly pulled one back in the second half but substitute C S Sabeeth's shot hit the bar.
FC Goa defender Lucio also got injured after coach Zico had made all the three substitutions and were forced to play with 10 men in the last 10 minutes.
Zico fielded the same team that played in the last two matches -- one won and one drawn. Chennaiyin coach Marco Materazzi made four changes from the team that played last, bringing in Jayesh Rane, Raphael Augusto, Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Mailson Alves in place of Manuele Blasi, Abhishek Das, Balwant Singh and Alessandro Potenza.
FC Goa defender Lucio allowed space in the middle as he tried to move upfront and the rivals exploited it with a series of raids with Jayesh Rane and Mendoza coming close to scoring initially.
However, after two close shaves, the home team citadel fell in the 10th minute. A swift move from the middle saw Elano beat the home team defence with a through a pass to Mendoza who slipped the ball through the legs of ’keeper Elinton Andrade.
Defender Gegory Arnolin tried to retrieve the ball on the goal-line but Mendoza was quick to slam the ball into the net.
The goal gave the visitors much of the impetus as they went on the prowl with swift moves and after Jayesh Rane's long range shot was saved by the home team ’keeper, Chennaiyin scored the second goal three minutes before the interval.
A swift move from the right saw Thoi Singh relay the ball to Rane who in turn squared the ball to Elano who got the better of defender Debabrata Roy and struck a left-footer that found the net.
The home team were found wanting as Romeo Fernandes failed to get the better of rival defenders and was frequently dispossessed.
After the change of ends, the visitors continued to dominate and scored two more goals, putting the game beyond the home team's reach.
Elano, who kept the attack moving, made a solo run in the middle and gave a through pass to Mendoza who essayed a left footer that found the net in the 63rd minute.
Mendoza then scored his hat-trick when he chested a cross from the right by substitute Bruno Pelissari before sending a left-footed drive that found the roof of the net.