Chennaiyin book semi-final spot with 1-0 victory over Mumbai City

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Goal from centre back Lucian Goian in the 83 minute decided the match in favour of the visitors.

Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC in action (Photo: ISL)

Mumbai: Chennaiyin FC booked their place in the semi-finals of Indian Super League (ISL) with a 1-0 victory over Mumbai City FC in a scrappy match at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Friday.

Goal from centre back Lucian Goian in the 83 minute decided the match in favour of the visitors.

Earlier, Sourav Das was sent off in the 54th minute and Mumbai went down to 10 men in a match that saw a few eyebrow raising decisions.

The win lifted Chennaiyin to fourth spot with 28 points from 17 games. Mumbai finished their season with 26 points from 18 games.

Chennaiyin now have a chance to finish third if they defeat NorthEast United FC in the final league match on February 25 and Bengaluru fails to defeat ATK on Saturday.

The controversial decision came in the 52nd minute.

A through ball from midfield set Amine Chermiti free on goal. Chermiti had Modou Sougou alongside for support but looked to go round the keeper. Chenniayin keeper Vishal Kaith came outside the 18-yard box and made a sliding challenge. Kaith didn’t get the ball but brought down Chermiti. The referee was surrounded by Mumbai City players as they expected him to brandish a red card. However, the referee gives the goalkeeper just a yellow card. It was not the right decision.

Two minutes later, Sourav Das was sent off for a challenge on Lallianzuala Chhangte who was clean through on goal.

This time Lallianzuala Chhangte was set through on goal but with Sourav Das on the chase. Das tripped Chhangte from behind and the referee showed the red card without hesitation. It was the right decision but Vishal Kaith should have been sent off for a similar offence two minutes earlier. Sourav Das furiously went off and Mumbai City were down to 10 men.

The goal came in the 83rd minute. Lucian Goian, the skipper, is the hero for them.

Rafael Crivellaro took a corner from the right and whipped it in flat at the near post. Nerijus Valskis ran towards the near post and flicked it on. The ball landed at the feet of Chennaiyin captain Lucian Goian who had run in at the far post. The centre back volleyed the ball into the back of the net.

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Mykhailo Mudryk, second left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal | AP

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