Bhubaneswar: Consistency has been the hallmark of Bengaluru FC in this domestic season. They finished on top of the Indian Super League (ISL) table and made their way to the final, losing the trophy to Chennaiyin FC. On Friday, they clinched the inaugural Super Cup beating East Bengal 4-1 in the final.
However, Bengaluru didn't start the summit clash on a strong note, allowing East Bengal to dominate early proceedings. Things would've gone awry for them if the referee had shown the red card to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu for a rash challenge on Ansumana Kromah. But Bengaluru head coach Albert Roca thought it was a yellow card offence, which Gurpreet eventually received.
"For me, it was a yellow card. Just to be honest, I don't think it was a red. We have also played with ten players against Mohun Bagan and we had scored four goals. I was not scared about that.
"East Bengal did a very good job in the first half of the game. After the red card, for sure things had changed but even at 1-1, we turned things back," Roca said in the post-match conference.
Talking about red card East Bengal's Samad Ali Mallick received for lashing out at Subhasish Bose, head coach Khalid Jamil was of the opinion that the defender deserved a booking and not a red card.
"It could have been a yellow card. However, I was far away and I couldn't see properly. Playing with 10 men against Bengaluru is not easy. They played well and controlled the midfield. We played with less man, so it was very difficult for us," Jamil said.
Jamil, however, chose not to openly criticise the referee. Regarding Gurpreet's challenge on Kromah, Jamil believed it was a red card but stated that referees are also human beings and such mistakes happen in the game.
Meanwhile, when Roca asked about the scheduling of the Super Cup and his opinion about few teams not taking the tournament seriously, the Spaniard said that he doesn't believe in complaining.
"It should have been me who could complain about the fixture as team is also playing AFC Cup. We had come here to fight and win the competition. No point complaining about the fixture. We had come here to play in the Super Cup and we were very serious. You cannot complain, football is like this, you are a professional. The club is paying us to be here until the last day," he concluded.