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Since 1st March, 1999
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It’s a timely reminder for us: Karim

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa coped with defeat stoically on Saturday, after his side’s opening match defeat to Mumbai FC in the I-League. Bencharifa said, “This match is probably a timely reminder that we shouldn’t be too confident of ourselves, proper respect must be given to every side in this I-League.”

The Moroccan coach typically refused to single out players from his team for committing mistakes. “Let’s just put it this way that we made errors in all three departments — defence, midfield and upfront — and we are collectively responsible as a team, for this loss.”

Mumbai FC’s British coach David booth appeared a little miffed at the news conference since no one had informed him about it.

But his team’s result against one of the traditional heavyweights of Indian football must have surely pleased him. He said, “I am happy with the players and credit must especially go to the boys in defence who did admirably.”

Asked about the conditions and how his side coped with it better than Bagan did, the Englishman remarked, “We’ve had enough practice, playing in such conditions… Wherever we’ve been to in the last six months or so, the rains have followed.”

Mumbai FC’s next opponents are city giants East Bengal and Booth said he was looking forward to the match. “East Bengal are a really pacy side, they played well in their first game... It’ll be a good game when we meet them”.

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