Difficult but not impossible to reach ISL final: Marco Materazzi

Chennai: Chennaiyin FC coach-cum-player Marco Materazzi yesterday said his side can still qualify for the final of Indian Super League (ISL) football tournament though he conceded the difficult task ahead when his team takes on Kerala Blasters in the second leg of semi-finals today.

Marco Materazzi
Marco Materazzi 

After the morale of Chennaiyin FC players was dented by Kerala Blasters' 3-0 win in the first leg in Kochi, Materazzi was guarded in his response when asked about today's match.

"It will be very difficult but we believe we can do it. The first half will be very important because if we can get a goal or two, we will put Kerala Blasters under pressure," Materazzi said at the pre-match press conference here.

Asked why Chennaiyin have not won a match since qualifying for the semi-finals, Materazzi said, "At the start of the tournament Chennaiyin was not fancied by anyone but as the league stage progressed, it was clear to everyone that we are a top team.

"So maybe in the latter stages, the opponents raised their game further and adopted different strategy to play against us," the 2006 World Cup-winning Italian said.

On the importance of not conceding goals to Kerala today, he said, "Yes that will be crucial so we have to play as a team from the first to the last whistle.

We have to defend from the front and take whatever chances comes our way. It is still only halftime in the two-legged tie so anything is still possible."

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