I-League defending champions Bengaluru FC lost their second game on the trot on Friday but it was the 84th minute of their tie against Churchill Brothers at the Tilak Maidan ground which grabbed all headlines.
John Johnson was shown a direct red for a harsh challenge on Richard Costa. As the Englishman was making his way off the field, Churchill coach Alfred Fernandes and Johnson were embroiled in an ugly battle of words and it resulted in a brawl which almost had every member on the field converging on the technical area.
"You can see the video footage. The incident happened in front of my technical area. The (Bengaluru) players came charging. They pushed me in my technical area. He (Roca) has to first check the footage and then complain," Fernandes lashed out after he was made aware that Bengaluru FC's Albert Roca had alleged him of kicking Juanan.
Roca brands Churchill coach a 'clown'
"The moment he (Johnson) hit Richard, I asked him what are you doing and he started abusing me. So action should be taken against the player (Johnson) who came in the technical area and knocked me (behind the neck). We will complain about the player," he added in aghast.
"These foreign coaches think they know everything in football. They should also respect Indian coaches. This (the altercation that happened) is out of frustration. They should be good losers. They don't lose every day. On the AFC Cup final as well, they assaulted the officials of the other team (Air Force Club)," Fernandes ranted.
Reflecting on the positive aspects he derived from the game, Fernandes said, "We dedicate this victory to the CEO (Valanka Alemao) and the patron of the club (Churchill Alemao) who assembled this team in four days. I am proud of my team and also of Bengaluru FC who represented the country in the final of the AFC Cup."
Giving his his assessment on the player of the match, Chesterpaul Lyngdoh, who scored the winning goal, the Churchill assistant said, "It is my duty to ground him (Chesterpoul). I cannot say that he has peaked. I am slowly working with him. He is coming into his own and hopefully, he will do better in the future matches."
For the other goal scorer, Fernandes had only words of encouragement. "He (Anthony Wolfe) missed a penalty in the last match. I gave him a morale-boosting talk and somehow he clicked today. For me, he was also the man of the match with a goal and an assist," the Goan concluded.