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ISL 2016: Materazzi laments Mulder loss, but praises team effort to gain tough point against Kerala

Chennaiyin remain in the top four after the well-earned point.

Materazzi
Materazzi saw his troops eke out a vital point after losing Hans Mulder in the first half

Saturday evening saw the first ever 0-0 finish at the Marina Arena in Chennai as Chennaiyin FC drew 0-0 with Kerala Blasters. Despite a few good chances, neither team was able to get a goal.

The major talking point of the match though was the ending with players and staff from the two sides jostling and arguing with each other. Even Chennaiyin coach Marco Materazzi made his way out onto the pitch seemingly to confront one of the Blasters’ players. It all kicked off when a pitch invader made his way onto the turf and Chennaiyin kicked the ball out of play.

It was in a bit of an advanced position, but once the invader was escorted away, Kerala's Jermaine Belfort kicked the ball away towards Chennaiyin keeper Karanjit Singh as opposed to returning the throw-in.

“For me actually, nothing happened. I just wanted to talk, but I think he (Beckfort) could have avoided what he did with the ball and an attacking throw-in I just wanted to tell him that he's a young player and that he's very talented player, but if he does something like that, he will lose all his strength”, Materazzi said after the game when asked about the situation.

Losing Mulder changed the whole game

Chennaiyin were dealt a blow in the first half when key midfielder Hans Mulder had to leave the game with an injury, thus disrupting their game plan. Mulder has been one of Chennaiyin’s key players this season and his departure seemed to affect the side.

“Well, losing Mulder changed the whole game. We had to change our attitude in the second half. Maybe we suffered more in the second half. What matters is the one point. Now we have nine points after six games. Most of the other teams have played seven games already.”

Despite the loss of Mulder though, Materazzi said he had no complaints about the other players who fought hard for a draw.

“I hope I will get Mulder back for the next game as he's a crucial player for us, but you will never hear me complaining about my team if they play like this. They fought hard in a very tough game from the first minute to the last. So let's just be happy for now with this one point.”

Chennaiyin largely relied on aerial balls over the top to their forwards while constructing their attacks. With not too much of play on the ground, the hosts didn't get many openings with this strategy.

In response to that and his team's lack of cutting edge, Materazzi had this to say - “It actually just happened during the game because they played English style, so we wanted to exploit the long balls, but what I have to say is that maybe we could have exploited better the 20 minutes (the last 20 minutes of the game) with Peluso. But as I said earlier, I have no complaints about my team. I just want to congratulate both teams and also the fans because I think they had fun.”

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