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Materazzi says ref did not see volleyball being played; Guimaraes content after maiden semi final spot

MUMBAI'S MAIDEN ENTRY INTO THE SEMI-FINAL was a proud moment for the team and that left Chennaiyin to fight hard in the remaining games if they are to follow Mumbai into the playoffs.

Materazzi was clearly unhappy with loss as it gives the defending champions a tough chance to qualify for the semi finals. Conceding defeat, he expressed his displeasure saying,

“What went wrong was that we conceded a goal and then we were not awarded a penalty, and in the second half they were very good in counter-attacks and that is only because we were attacking all the time,”

Guimaraes on the victory and being the first team to qualify for the semis, said,

“We have time to think about it. We still have to play our last game. It is good for us to be in this position now. Now we have 10 games to analyse other teams that have a real possibility to qualify. We also have to see in what position we finish because that will decide when we play at home. So, there are a lot of things to analyse till the end of the league stage. Now is the time to congratulate the players, the entire organisation, and all the work that we did from the beginning. They reached the goal that was targeted by the organisation. We are very pleased,”

Materazzi was not very happy about the handball by Gerson inside the Mumbai box, which was not awarded a penalty. The Italian shared his views on that topic saying,

“We knew we were in a must-win situation and now we know that we have to win the next two games to get six points and we have shown we can battle every team but if the referee does not see that a player is not playing football and playing volleyball, then there is not much we can do. Once you are 1-0 down, it is very tough but we still believe that we can win and make it to the semis.”

Mumbai play Delhi Dynamos next after a break of 10 days. This gives the opportuninty to players those who haven't featured or have got less gametime to take the field as Mumbai have already qualified. Speaking on this, Guimaraes shared,

“Firstly, we have a break of 10 days, we played three games in one week, so we need to get some time to rest and recover. After this rest, I will have a chat with some of the players and my staff and decide what we have to do for the game against Delhi Dynamos FC. Also, there are some players I need to make sure get some minutes to play. They all are watching. There are two players who still haven’t played, so we will see,” 

The Italian Materazzi accepted that Mumbai were not easy to beat on the night. He continued saying,

“Yes, they are a very solid team and they do not concede many goals and they are also very good in the attacking department and you have got to admit when the opponent is good and in this case, they were really good,” 

Replying to a question if the long break of 10 days might affect the momentum of the team, the Mumbai City FC Coach said,

“No, I don’t think so. Sometimes you lose this state of mind or the spirit when you are away. But we live all together in the same place, communicating all the time. So, it’s not possible that we will lose this momentum. As I said before we still have one more game to play. We qualified with one game in hand so we are better than the last year. We are a better team in defence. We have another game where we didn’t concede. We have players that are getting better by the day. So, we are very optimistic about what’s next. We know what we have done is not easy and what we have to look for and to fight for is going to be much harder.”

Chhetri was seeing limping a bit while leaving the field. On the query, if he picked up an injury, Guimaraes replied,

“Just a little bit pain. He got a kick while taking that shot. He is a warrior, so he will be ready for the next game. He is working very hard. From the first day he arrived here, he is ever willing to help the team and he is doing great,” 

Mumbai City have conceded just eight goals in the competition. Partly responsible for the good defensive show, the defender Goian was present at the post match conference, said,

“I am happy we had a great game, not only in defence. It’s not only about me, we defend as a team and attack as a team. Everybody is doing a good job and we have to be proud of what we have achieved till now.”

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