FULL TIME! CHENNAIYIN FC DIDN'T NEED ELANO TO GET THEIR JOB DONE. THEY HAD STIVEN MENDOZA, AND THAT'S THE BOTTOMLINE.
AN INSPIRATIONAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE COLOMBIAN GAVE A VITAL WIN TO THE HOSTS, AND FROM HERE ON, MATERAZZI'S SIDE CAN BE EXPECTED TO REALLY PUT A BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE TO MAKE IT TO THE PLAYOFFS.
FOR KERALA BLASTERS, IT'S HARD TO SAY HOW THEY ARE GOING TO RECOVER AFTER THIS.
FULL TIME: CHE 4-1 KER
So, thanks for joining with me. Till then, catch you for a different game. This is me, Sayantan, signing off.
90' GOAL! Antonio German pulls one back for the away side, off Mehtab's delivery from the free-kick.
88' Chris Dagnall almost looked like he would throw a jab there on CHE player Potenza. Massive brawl, which included shoving, between the two. Blasi and Potenza receive a yellow card each.
87' HERO OF THE MATCH STIVEN MENDOZA is replaced by Balwant Singh.
83' CHE sub: Godwin Franco comes on for Thoi Singh.
82' GOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!! HAT-TRICK FOR MENDOZA. A CLEVER FREE-KICK FROM HARMANJOT KHABRA SAW THE COLOMBIAN MAKE THE MOST USE OF HIS PACE TO GET CLEAN THROUGH AND HAMMER THE BALL INSIDE THE POST.
CHE 4-0 KER
80' GOAAAL!!!!! IT'S ALL OVER NOW. STIVEN MENDOZA AGAIN. Thoi Singh passes the ball to the Colombian, and as usual, he pulls the trigger. The powerful ball gets a slight deflection from Bruno Perone to get into the net.
76' Some unwanted physical battles taking place in the match. But hey, you've got to understand that this is the South Indian derby. Kerala Blasters really need to do something now. Terry Phelan looks a frustrated figure in the bench.
Trevor Morgan, the assistant coach of KER, is giving directions now.
72' CHE sub: Blasi comes on for Pelissari.
70' CHANCE! The resulting free-kick from Mehtab saw Sandesh Jhingan head the ball into the goal. But he misses! That's over the bar. What a close shave for the home side. That could have given KER the crucial goal to try and make a comeback.
69' Yellow! Dhanachandra gets a booking for a mistimed challenge on Coimbra.
67' Final change from Kerala Blasters: Coimbra comes on for Josu.
64' CHANCE! Jose Currias takes a free-kick. No trouble however. The ball is straight into Bete's hands.
62' MISSED! JEJE MISSES A SURE GOAL! Brilliant interplay between the Indian and Mendoza. Jeje passes the ball to the Colombian, and gets it back. The Indian passes it again and Mendoza's final pass back to him, saw him completely the Indian not even get any foot on the ball.
60' CHANCE! Antonio German has a go on the goal. His shot was similar to the one Mendoza tried in the first half to get a perfect goal. The Kerala Blasters forward's shot however breezed past the post.
59' KER Sub: CK Vineeth comes on for Cavin Lobo.
54' A brilliant counter-attack from the home side saw Jeje and Mendoza clean through. The Indian forward lays the ball to the Colombian, but Mendoza could only see his shot blocked by the defender.
53' Still 2-0 lead for the home side. If the score stays like this until the end. Chennaiyin FC move two places up to the sixth place, and still have a chance to make it to the ISL playoffs.
47' And the heavens have opened! Just hope the lightning and thunderstorms don't play a spoilsport this time too.
8:05 pm: Under way for the second half from Marina Arena.
KER Sub: Bruno Perone replaces Peter Ramage.
HALF TIME! Chennaiyin FC go into the break with a two-goal lead. This has been an entertaining half. Join us in ten minutes for the rest of the play. Sure, that's going to be more lively. Expecting KER coach Terry Phelan to make strong changes in his tactics for the rest of the game.
45' Yellow! Absolutely needless challenge from Mehtab Hossain to curb stomp on Mendoza's shin. Gets booked for the poor display of sportsmanship.
41' AND AGAIN! It's like a deja-vu. Jeje combines with Pelissari, but this time, the India international's shot on goal gets blocked by the KER defender.
40' WHAT A CHANCE! That could have been the third for the home side. Jeje combines with Mendoza to create a brilliant chance, but just before the Colombian could get a foot on the ball, the KER defender kicked the ball out to safety.
34' That was quite an unusual scene! Kerala Blasters defender Saumik Dey pushes CHE coach Marco Materazzi and throws some incessant expletives, leading to a minor brawl. Pratap Singh has to keep the game in check now.
32' Two back-to-back set pieces from Josu, and a stunning effort from Pulga, coupled with a great save from Bete! This match is really coming alive now from both ends.
30' Chennaiyin FC are completely bossing it, in every sense. The Kerala Blasters defence has to do something. Peter Ramage and Sandesh Jhingan have come under a lot of pressure. Terry Phelan has to do something in the half time.
25' OFFSIDE! Stiven Mendoza was clean through there, and it looked like he was onside from a distance. However, the linesman had his flag raised. Could have been 3-0 there itself.
20' SHOT! Victor Pulga with the second great opportunity of teh game foe Kerala Blasters today. The bearded Spaniard's shot attracted a good quality save from Edel Bete!
16' BRILLIANT GOAL! Stiven Mendoza. He's the man. Top scorer. The Colombian uses his pace to get clean through inside the box, and slot home a Lionel Messi-esque goal. Top Stuff!
Dhanachandra Singh's long ball played a key role in the goal. The Indian defender gets a goal and an assist within 20 minutes of today's game.
CHE 2-0 KER
13' Josu has decided not to take any prisoners today. The KER midfielder has a committed a couple of fouls so far. Needs to control his temper.
10' The hosts are enjoying the ball at the middle of the park. Corner for CHE.
Bruno Pelissari delivers, but Stephen Bywater remains alert.
7' Stern warning from referee Pratap Singh to Josu Currais. The KER midfielder used his hands to make a challenge on Stiven Mendoza.
3' GOAL! Dhanachandra Singh blasts the net from outside the box! First blood to Chennaiyin FC. That left-foot shot was all about power and perfection.
The goal: Thoi Singh crosses the ball from the right, and KER defender Rahul Bheke heads it out. The loose ball falls in the path of the CHE defender, and Dhana makes no mistake there.
Chennaiyin FC (CHE) 1-0 Kerala Blasters (KER)
1' CHANCE! Early on in the match, Cavin Lobo hits the upright from his close-range effort. Great start from the away team. Antonio German was the one who delivered the defence-splitting pass.
7 pm: HERE WE GO! The mouthwatering clash between Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters gets under way from the Marina Arena in Chennai. Expect this game to be a cracker in every sense. Only concern remains the rain.
6:55 pm: The players are headed out of the tunnel amidst fireworks. Get ready folks. Kick-off is just upon us!
6:45 pm: 15 minutes to go. It can't get much bigger than this!
6:20 pm: The team sheets are here. And there's a surprise from the home team. No Elano in the starting XI.
Chennaiyin FC: Edel (GK); Wadoo, Potenza, Mendy (C), Dhana; Thoi, Augusto, Khabra; Pelissari, Mendoza, Jeje.
Kerala Blasters: Bywater (GK); Bheke, Ramage (C), Jhingan, Saumik; Pulga, Mehtab, Josu; Lobo; Dagnall, German.
6:05 pm: It's buzzing in Chennai at the moment. Just hold on tight!
6 pm: El Clasico dominates Super Saturday in the football world. Manchester City vs Liverpool also gets a lot of attention today. But wait, how can Indian football stay behind in this? Not a chance.
A mouthwatering fixture awaits us one hour from now as two of the biggest football teams from South India -- Chennaiyin FC and Kerala Blasters FC -- lock horns for the second time in the Indian Super League this season. The teams may be languishing at the bottom of the table, but make no mistake, this is the most crucial game for both sides this year.
All three points can give oodles of confidence to the victors today. Join me, Sayantan (twitter @san_footy), from IBTimes India, for the complete coverage of the game, right from the build-up. This is going to be a cracker of the highest level!