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ISL 2016: Inexperience cost us two points, Marco Materazzi

The Italian also retorted that he would rather have the pressure of being defending champions than be overzealous about winning the title.

Chennaiyin FC vs Atletico de Kolkata
Atletico were awarded a late penalty in the game against Chennaiyin (Images courtesy of ISL)

“The only thing that makes me sad is that the guy who gave away the penalty in the dying minutes is a fledgeling teenager. He will be upset with himself. But I don’t fault him. It was just his inexperience,” quipped a pragmatic Marco Materazzi following Chennaiyin FC’s draw against Atletico de Kolkata in their opening encounter of the Indian Super League

The Super Machans fell behind early in the second half to Atletico but made a spirited comeback which saw them score two goals and take the lead via a deflected shot which bobbled its way into the Atletico net with Debjit Majumdar left flaying his arms in thin air.

However, the Kolkata team brought themselves back into the game late on when Iain Hume slotted in from the spot after teenage substitute Jerry Lalrinzuala was adjudged to have fouled Sameehg Doutie in the penalty box.

Although disappointed after conceding in the 85th minute, the Italian manager, however, wanted to look into the positives of the game.

“I am happy with my guys. We had fallen behind but made a brilliant comeback to take the lead. I am happy how the team performed as a whole. We don’t have a striker like Stiven Mendoza this season who can score goals single-handedly, we have shown today that we can score from everywhere.

Chennaiyin now has the target on their backs this season with the tag of being the defending champions, and the former Italian national defender doesn’t seem to mind the pressures that come with it.

“We can’t do anything about that,” said Materazzi. “In fact, I would rather have that pressure than thinking as of right now how to desperately win our first crown.”

Speaking about the biggest moment of the game, the awarding of the penalty, Materazzi was coy about the incident and thought it would be best be left to the judgment of the referee as he was too far away from the action.

However, his answers and the undertone certainly left no doubt as to what he thought of the decision.

“About the penalty. We can’t do anything. I was too far away to judge. If the referee says it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty. We can’t do anything about that”

“But you have to remember that Doutie is an experienced player and also doesn’t have much weight. On the other hand, our youngster (Jerry) is inexperienced. You can be the best judge of the situation.”

The reigning champions now move on to Delhi where they will face the Dynamos, in which will be the Lions’ first game of the tournament on Thursday. 

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