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The Moroccan coach acknowledged that the opposition created several problems for his players but added that he needed time to adapt to his new side…

Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa wasn’t a pleased man following his side’s disappointing performance against Mumbai FC where they had to thank their luck for escaping with a point in Pune.

After taking the lead through Odafa Okolie in the first half from a set-piece, it was all one way traffic as the Green and Maroons failed to string together a decent attack for the rest of the game.

The Mariners’ midfield was ineffective in the game as the defenders merely resorted to thumping the ball aimlessly upfront for Odafa to create something of it, which he couldn’t as he was tightly marked out by Haroon Amiri and Justine Stephen.

“It wasn’t a lucky point for Mumbai FC as they earned it. They created problems for us. Mumbai FC employed direct ball tactics and played a physical game.

“Amiri’s throw-ins and Nicholas Rodrigues’ free-kicks caused problems,” Bencherifa acknowledged.

It was Abhishek Yadav who scored the crucial equaliser for the home side as he capitalized on a mistake by goalkeeper Shilton Paul.

“Some of our shorter players couldn’t compete with the height of Mumbai FC players,” said the former Salgaocar FC coach.

Bencherifa has a huge task ahead of him to inspire and encourage this side to improve as they next face defending champions Dempo SC in Goa. The injury problems too aren’t helping his cause as Syed Rahim Nabi had to be substituted in the first half itself due to an injury. Echezona Anyichie and Mehrajuddin Wadoo were injured prior to the game against Mumbai FC while Manish Maithani is yet to recover from his injury. Goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya continues to be out of action alongside Tolgay Ozbey. Rakesh Masih has just returned to the squad but is yet to see any playing time.

“I need time to adapt to the team. Injury problems are huge for us. Nabi pulled his groin and is yet to be assessed,” he added.

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