Salgaocar FC only managed to pick a point against Sporting Clube de Goa in an exciting I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa.
Derrick Pereira had to be content with a point which still kept them in the title race as they are awaiting a decision from the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Appeals Committee over the docked point.
“I am disappointed. We had an excellent start and we couldn’t ask for more. We defended very badly from set pieces as we lost concentration, especially for the first goal. We stopped to appeal for some incident in the box and we relaxed there. They took advantage of that and scored. For the second goal as well we did not defend. We allowed them to come back into the game; we could have done better going forward. We were defending well, keeping the shape well, except from set pieces. Of course they kept possession and moved around the ball well. I happy we got a point in the end,” he mentioned.
He added that they still have a chance to win the league provided other results go in their favour.
“(Title hopes) Very, very bleak. It’s possible but very tough.”
Pereira stated that a few decisions went against his side which could have possible changed their fortunes.
“There were some decisions against us, by the linesman. Two or three offside decisions were against us. On one occasion, it was a clear foul against Francis (Fernandes), which they [referee] gave to Sporting. These are the decisions that could have made the difference. It wasn’t a question of nerves. but yes we could have taken advantage of the start. We were sloppy defending on set pieces.
In the second half we wanted to go for a win. We were attacking and that’s why we allowed them spaces at the back. So they created good chances.”
Pereira pointed that his team’s strikers didn’t get enough support from the central midfielders who preferred to sit deep.
“Dudu (Omagbemi) did well and put a lot of pressure on the opponent defense with his physical presence by holding the ball well. He was looking for support, which he did not get from our central midfielders - Rocus[Lamare] and Freiman [Peixoto]. They were too deep and that’s the reason we were struggling.
“We wanted to attack and go for a win; I felt we could have won this match if we had done well combining up front. We were lacking that and were looking for those long balls, which did not work in our favour."