Pune FC didn't have a bright start to their I-League campaign after the break as they went down at home to Salgaocar.
Pune FC’s recent good form at home came to an end when table toppers Salgaocar defeated the Red Lizards 1-0 at Balewadi, thanks to a strike by Salgaocar’s talismanic striker Yusif Yakubu in the second half.
Derrick Pereira wasn’t too happy with the result but he defended his team’s performance stating that they were on par with the league leaders.
“I think we played well and matched them ball by ball, zone by zone but the goal made the difference and it’s disappointing to lose in this fashion,” said Derrick.
He absolved the keeper Narasimhan Balaji of any fault for the goal, where the custodian was caught off guard on his near post and said,” You can’t blame Balaji as he had a good game otherwise, making some very vital saves “
Derrick felt that if the team had taken its chances to score then the outcome could have been different.
“We showed excellent team spirit and were unlucky not to score ourselves, as we had some good chances,” he mentioned.
On being asked about some of the incidents during the game when both the sides seemed to be losing their cool, he explained “Well such things happen in a game when you are fighting for the match. There are times when you feel a decision was not right so you react, but it is all a part of the game.”
Despite the defeat, Derrick wasn’t bogged down as he still believes that his team does have a chance to make it into the top five.
“Well we will take it match by match and see where we end up. Our initial aim was a top five finish and we are still hopeful of making it. If we can do well in the next seven matches then it is still possible,” said Derrick.