The first away victory of the Indian Super League came the way of Chennaiyin FC as the team from Tamil Nadu got the better of Robert Pires and FC Goa in another exciting match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
Goals from Balwant Singh, the first Indian scorer in the inaugural season of the ISL and marquee man Elano in the space of ten first half minutes put Chennaiyin FC in the driving seat, and despite a valiant effort from FC Goa in the second half, where they scored via Gregory, the home team could not give their raucous crowd something to smile about.
The spotlight was going to be on Robert Pires, the Arsenal legend, with FC Goa manager Zico deciding to give his main man a run from the beginning.
Knowing FC Goa's attacks was going to begin with Pires, Chennaiyin decided to take the FC Goa star out of the game with a few hefty challenges early, in the middle and later – not too surprising considering their manager is Marco Materazzi, as uncompromising a an Italian defender as they come.
As Chennaiyin looked to break FC Goa's attacking play, they poured forward on a few occasions as well, and got their opening goal in the 32nd minute via Blawant. Elano made a run into the box, which was stopped, with the ball falling perfectly to Balwant, who squirted the ball past goalkeeper Jan Seda, who will probably know he should have done better.
Ten minutes later and Chennaiyin were two goals to the good as Elano, off a freekick won by Balwant, smashed one into the back of the net from 20 yards.
FC Goa needed to attack from the word go in the second 45, and they did just that, with a few good chances coming their way. However, Chennaiyin continued their physical approach on Pires, who did play the entire game, with tempers boiling in the early part of the second half.
Once the game settled, though, it was Goa on the ascendancy and they got their first goal via central defender Gregory, who was on hand to poke the ball home after some good work from Pires and Youness Bengelloun in the 65th minute.
FC Goa threw the kitchen sink at Chennaiyin FC in the final stages of the game, with substitute Ranti Martins, a well-known figure in Indian football, making an impact, but that equaliser would just not come as the away team held on for a precious, and quite impressive three points.