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The coach of the Philippines outfit saw his side suffer two red cards in their Singapore Cup quarter-final against Tanjong Pagar and laid the blame on the referee for their exit

Loyola Meralco Sparks may have crashed out of the RHB Singapore Cup after losing 5-4 to Tanjong Pagar on aggregate, but their coach Vincent Santos found time to leave a parting shot to the man he deemed responsible for their unfortunate fate. 

The match was marred by two sending offs for Sparks, first Park Min Ho being given his marching orders by referee Sukhbir Singh for his second bookable offence in the dying seconds of the first half, while Jang Jo Won was shown a straight red for his nasty challenge on Sazali Salleh.

Sazali was rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital right after the match where he was diagnosed with a broken fibula, and looks set to be out for the foreseeable future. 

But Santos was not about to apologise for his players' aggressive attitude on the field as he felt that there was nothing malicious about their challenges.

“I have been in matches that are more physical than this and I wouldn’t say that it was an ugly match," he said at the post-match press conference.

“Better officiating would have seen a better match and I think his calls changed the result.”

Sukhbir is no stranger to Santos and his charges as he had officiated their Singapore Cup semi-final clash against Tampines Rovers a year ago. 

“I am sorry but I had a bad experience about this referee from last year and I already warned the guys (players) not to let it get in their way," he claimed.

“It was a misunderstanding between him and our player; he issued the card as our Korean player (Kim Woo Chul) did not understand him [over] whether he was allowed to take the freekick or not.

“This is the second time, [it's the] same guy and it’s is a pity that he is that way.

“It could have been a much better game had he not influenced it.”

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