Grit, guts, and glory. Those are the words that defined the performances of Chennaiyin FC as they made it to the final of the Indian Super League for the first time in two years.
The Super Machans have had a topsy-turvy affair this time around, and there have been plenty of occasions when they got right back up after being knocked out. At one point of the season, Chennaiyin FC didn't look very likely of making it to the last four, but their determination and luck played a key role as they got up to reach where they are today.
Marco Materazzi's side outclassed Atletico de Kolkata in the first leg of the ISL 2015 semi final in Pune, and picked up a massive 3-0 aggregate lead. Right from the attack to the midfield to the defence, everything looked perfect for the South Indian side. The Super Machans dedicated the big win to all those people suffering due to the Chennai floods, and made sure they made their way to the final stage of the competition.
Chennaiyin FC may have lost 2-1 to ATK in the second leg of the ISL 2015 semi final, but they made their intent clear of not going to back down. Goalkeeper Edel Bete was the saviour for Elano and Co. as the former Armenia international made uncountable saves in the game at the Salt Lake Stadium to keep his team in the semi final tie.
They also made sure that Atletico de Kolkata don't get a clean sheet in their last game of the season, as Fikru scored at the death to make the aggregate score 4-2 in Chennaiyin FC's favour.
All eyes now remain on the South Indian side as they aim to lift their first-ever Indian Super League trophy. Chennaiyin FC play FC Goa on 20 December at the JLN Stadium in Fatorda, Goa.
Chennaiyin FC key players: Stiven Mendoza (attacker), Edel Bete (goalkeeper), Elano (midfielder).
Their journey to ISL 2015 finals:
16 Dec: Semi final 2nd leg -- Atletico de Kolkata 2-1 Chennaiyin FC
12 Dec: Semi final 1st leg -- Chennaiyin FC 3-0 Atletico de Kolkata
5 Dec: FC Pune City 0-1 Chennaiyin FC
1 Dec: Chennaiyin FC 3-0 Mumbai City FC
24 Nov: Chennaiyin FC 4-0 Delhi Dynamos
21 Nov: Chennaiyin FC 4-1 Kerala Blasters
18 Nov: Atletico de Kolkata 2-1 Chennaiyin FC
11 Nov: Chennaiyin FC 1-2 NorthEast United FC
5 Nov: Chennaiyin FC 0-2 FC Goa
31 Oct: Kerala Blasters 1-1 Chennaiyin FC
24 Oct: Chennaiyin FC 2-1 FC Pune City
20 Oct: NorthEast 2-0 Chennaiyin FC
16 Oct: Mumbai City FC 0-2 Chennaiyin FC
11 Oct: FC Goa 0-4 Chennaiyin FC
8 Oct: Delhi Dynamos 1-0 Chennaiyin FC
3 Oct: Chennaiyin FC 2-3 Atletico de Kolkata