Kolkata: Chennaiyin FC coach Marco Materazzi said his side deservedly got into the final of the Indian Super League (ISL) after going through on aggregate (4-2) even after losing to Atletico de Kolkata 2-1 here in the second-leg semi-final on Wednesday.
Marco Materazzi. Pic/Suresh KK
Chennaiyin had beaten Kolkata 3-0 in the first-leg of the semis in Pune last Saturday. They now face FC Goa in the final on Sunday.
"After a string of losses in the middle of the tournament we found what were the strong and the weak points and the strong points had to come out someday, we peaked at the right time. We have to enjoy the final and we deserve to be in it," Materazzi told reporters here in the post-match media conference.
The Italian World Cup winner said the only time he got angry and nervous in the game, where ATK had Chennaiyin on the ropes 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.