Calcutta: Peerless felt cheated a second time in nine days and Mihir Bose didn’t hold back.
“Just like we were deprived against East Bengal, disgraceful refereeing once again let us down against Mohun Bagan,” said the Peerless coach after Mohun Bagan scored a debatable late goal to snatch a 3-2 win on Tuesday.
Peerless, down 0-2 at half-time, had rallied well to level scores midway through the second session. “Venkatesh was clearly off side, how was that goal allowed' It was an intentional act… Our referees bow to pressure from the big teams… How will the smaller teams come up if this happens so often,” said a livid Mihir.
The Peerless coach was also unhappy with the penalty awarded to Mohun Bagan. “It wasn’t a penalty… my defender (Saheb Ali) went for the ball, not Barreto,” said Mihir.
“We have showed that the big teams are not much ahead of us… Our aim was to finish third and play the NFL second division, but what’s the use if we are victimised time and again,” rued Mihir. On August 12, his team was leading East Bengal 2-0 when play was stopped after 68 minutes — following stone-throwing by fans — and subsequently abandoned because of a heavy shower. East Bengal went on to win the replay 3-0, two days later.
Mohun Bagan coach Carlos Roberto Pereira didn’t think his team was lucky to win on Tuesday. “We didn’t play well, but got many chances to close the match before they scored. Some of my players were tired, we couldn’t train well after the derby,” said the Brazilian.