Indian Super League: Chennaiyin FC Worthy to be in Final, Says Coach Marco Materazzi
Marco Materazzi said he was proud of his team Chennaiyin FC's performance in the Indian Super League so far, particularly the way they recovered from a string to losses to enter the title clash
Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi said his side deservedly got into the final of the Indian Super League (ISL) after progressing on aggregate (4-2), even after losing to Atletico de Kolkata 1-2 here in the second-leg semifinal on Wednesday. (Chennaiyin FC Defeat Atletico de Kolkata 4-2 On Aggregate to Qualify for Indian Super League Final)
Chennaiyin had beaten Atletico 3-0 in the first-leg of the semifinals in Pune last Saturday. They now face FC Goa in the final on Sunday. (Highlights)
"After a string of losses in the middle of the tournament, we found our strong and weak points. The strong points had to come out some day, we peaked at the right time. We have to enjoy the final and we deserve to be in it," Materazzi said.
The Italian World Cup winner said the only time he got angry and nervous in the game, where Atletico dominated Chennaiyin for much of the 90 minutes, was when they conceded the first goal.
"Problem was giving away the first goal. I was nervous and angry because of that," he said.
Asked if it was a nerve wracking experience playing in front of 70,000 vociferous fans at the Salt Lake stadium, Materazzi said: "When I won the World Cup (2006) there were 90,000 spectators at the stadium. So it wasn't a problem for me."
He also praised the referee for the decisions he made.
"The referee did a good job, he made tough decisions under pressure and most were right. I would want to take him to Goa (for the final)."
The former Italian defender also said that he wasn't surprise at the behaviour of rival coach Antonio Lopez Habas who was sent off by the referee towards the end of the game.
"Like me, he is a coach who was desperate for a win. Maybe, he lost a bit of control towards the end but I have huge respect for him," he said.
Materazzi, lastly lauded the efforts of Edel Bete, Chennaiyin FC goalkeeper who put in a remarkable performance and also congratulated Atletico striker Iain Hume for the whole season where he grabbed 11 goals.