|FROM BISHAN STADIUM
By Teng Kiat
He was asked about their disallowed goal one minute from time almost immediately after he sat down at the conference table, but Warriors FC coach V. Selvaraj waxed philosophical about assistant referee Tang Yew Mun’s decision to rule out Tatsuro Inui’s shot for offside.
“I really don’t know [whether it was correct],” he calmly said about the "goal", which would have won them the game against Home United if it had been ruled legitimate in their 1-1 draw.
“There was a deflection, but whether it was a white [Warriors] player or red [Home]player, I really don’t know; I have to look at the video [to find out].
“But I am someone who sometimes has to learn how to accept decisions from the referee, and referees’ decisions are always the final decisions, be it good or bad… [there is] no point arguing about it.”
Home coach Lee Lim Saeng concurred, saying that such controversial calls happen “all the time” on the pitch.
“When Indra [Sahdan] got pulled down against Tampines [Rovers] in [the] first half [in a previous match], I also had to respect the referee’s decision [not to signal a foul],” he pointed out.
“Sometimes I also have a hard time [comprehending decisions], but I didn’t mention about the referees [after the game]. This is sports.”
The Warriors conceded the equalizer 12 minutes after scoring, and Selvaraj admitted that his side has to work on holding on to leads.
“This is something we have to look at,” he said. “We have to probably look at [it] half by half [and try to] come back into the changing room not conceding goals.”
The former Singapore international was pleased with the battling performance however against an “in-form” Home side.
“I think overall it’s a good, important and precious one point,” Selvaraj said.
“They [the players] are believing more now… [and] conceding goals out of losses of concentration has been improved tremendously for the past few matches.
“I am very happy with the performance, the effort, the belief and the kind of attitude they showed me on the pitch.”
Meanwhile, Lee acknowledged that both sides had chances they failed to put them away, but claimed it was just “part of football” and turned his attention to their next match against Harimau Muda B.
“We still have many games [so] we need to prepare for the next game,” he said, adding that he hoped to have Firdaus Idros back from injury.
“The next game also is not easy, because we will play overseas in Johor. I think the players also need to get used to the Johor weather.”
Despite the Protectors’ unimpressive position of sixth in the current league standings, the Korean believes that they are playing more as a team as compared to previous seasons.
“The difference in our performances between this season and last season is that we work together [and] we are not about a few [individual] players,” Lee remarked.
“Even without Jordan [Webb, who was suspended], we also had our chances; unfortunately we couldn’t put [the ball] into the net.
“Now we are not in the top three, but I will try my best to catch up and that’s why we will practice more and more together.”