Bengaluru FC suffered yet another defeat against Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) after goals from Modou Sougou and Amine Chermiti sealed the deal at the Mumbai Football Arena.
Coach Carles Cuadrat believed his side gifted the goals to the opposition and claimed that the referee too aided the Islanders. He blasted the referee for disallowing what he felt was a clear goal from Sunil Chhetri, contrary to what the linesman believed.
He said, “We study a lot of teams. We made two mistakes in the construction of the game. Sometimes it happens in football that when you make a mistake, you try to repair it immediately. It happened with Gurpreet (Singh). After he kicked the ball to the centre, he went out of the goal for the ball.
“With Mumbai, if you concede, it will be very difficult because they can defend very well and are dangerous on the counter-attack. This is what happened. Then there was the second mistake, the second gift of the night. Congratulations Mumbai for receiving so many presents.
“The referee gave a nice present, not giving the goal to Sunil (Chhetri). I don’t understand how I can see it clearly from the wing position, how the linesman can’t see that. I’m sorry but these guys don’t know football.
“There was a meeting this week and we have been talking about what we can do for the improvement of football in India. We have to bring foreign referees. It is a disaster. This season, two goals have not been given to us because the referees don’t know the game. Then they say Bengaluru is not scoring a lot of goals.
“Finally the third gift of the night, Khabra’s present made things very easy for Mumbai. I think it was not a very good game of football. We had a plan but after 1-0 we had to change the plan and it was difficult to create chances. In the second half, we had two clear chances – one Sunil and one Udanta but when you don’t get close to the result, things get easy for the team in the lead.”
The Blues have collected just one point against Mumbai in the last four fixtures. The Spanish gaffer admitted that they are trying their best but are just not able to get the better of Jorge Costa’s men.
“They have a plan and it has been working for them. I have been trying to change things but it’s not happening. We have been working trying to change it but it didn’t work out.
“I will tell my defenders to try to reach the play-offs and not meet Mumbai there. We have received five goals from them. We received three goals from set-pieces at Kanteerva and today from two mistakes,” he said.
Cuadrat was quick to defend his decision of playing Harmanjot Khabra on the right, despite the midfielder committing the mistake that provided the hosts with the second goal.
“I am the coach of a team who are the champions of the league. Doing that kind of change is my responsibility. I accept the criticism because it is my job. That is football. Sometimes you do some things and it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s clear that Khabra can play at right-back, (Rahul) Bheke and Ashique (Kuruniyan) can play at left-back. It’s my decision, I get paid for that."