Maldives coach Istvan Urbanyi: 'I can’t say India deserved the win'

The Hungarian coach of Maldives was displeased with the match official as they were denied two penalties…

Maldives coach Istvan Urbanyi seemed an unhappy man at the press conference, after seeing his side slump to a 1-0 loss against India.

However he wanted to focus on the positives for his side, commenting, “First of all I just want to congratulate my players for having a good tournament and they have worked hard and created history of ten goals in the first game and today as a team we wanted to play.”

Giving his take on India’s performance today, the Hungarian opined, “This was a mind game (employed by) India, waiting for some mistake. They didn’t really want to play and waited for some mistake. We could not play our game due to their defending and shape. Each team was waiting for the chance to come. We had chances to score but could not take it.”


Ali Ashfaq was denied a penalty in the second half, a decision hotly contested by the Red Snappers’ faithful and which led to some acrimonious scenes at the end of the match.

“My first thought is that it was a penalty and you don’t have to kill the striker to get a penalty. What happened afterwards is we had one mistake (Arnab’s goal), but I can’t say India deserved the win.”

On being quizzed about the fracas that ensued at the final whistle, Urbanyi alleged that first he was man-handled by a couple of local authorities, stating, “Well firstly someone caught my neck and hand, some local with a pass. I do not know for what. I can’t understand how someone is touching me like that?”

He accepted his players’ behaviour was unworthy and said, “You are right (about it being a lack of discipline) but this was a very emotional thing for them. If you watch world football, you can see it happens to anybody. But if people are coming to protect, that’s a kind of provocation. I am not saying it’s the right thing to do but just an emotional thing.”

He even felt his team should have had a second penalty late in the game, mentioning, “But the good thing is even though we had just four or five minutes left, we had two chances. I feel even in the end it could have been a penalty. Plus Ashfaq got two yellows during tournament for diving, the best player in tournament! Come on don’t make a joke, referee!”

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