REUTERS – Colombian Stiven Mendoza missed a penalty before scoring a last-minute winner as Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin beat Goa, coached by former Brazil great Zico, 3-2 to win the Indian Super League title on Sunday.
Chennaiyin, who had won both their previous matches at Goa’s Nehru Stadium, appeared set for their first defeat there when Spaniard Jofre put the hosts 2-1 up with an 87th-minute free kick.
But Materazzi’s men netted twice in a dramatic finish to leave the home fans with a look of disbelief on their faces.
After a barren first half when the hosts dominated possession and created more chances, the referee awarded Chennaiyin a penalty when Mendoza was brought down in the box shortly after the break.
Brazilian Bruno Pelissari’s spot kick was superbly saved by Laxmikant Kattimani but the goalkeeper could not stop Pelissari from scoring on the rebound.
Substitute Thongkhosiem Haokip made it 1-1 in the 58th minute by getting behind the defence and calmly slotting in a cross from the right.
Striker Mendoza earned his side another penalty three minutes later for a foul by the Goa keeper. This time the Colombian stepped up to take the kick but Kattimani again dived to his left to make a low stop.
Both teams then wasted chances to take the lead and the match appeared to be heading towards extra time when Jofre scored at the near post.
Celebrations had already started in the stands when Kattimani palmed the ball into his own net after clashing with a team mate under pressure from Mendoza who picked up the Golden Boot award as the league’s highest scorer.
Goa, co-owned by India’s test cricket captain Virat Kohli, had barely recovered from the disappointment of conceding an own goal when Mendoza went past his marker to beat the goalkeeper and take his tally for the season to 13 goals.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Tony Jimenez)