Mohun Bagan were left stunned as Balwant Singh scored his second of the game to take a point for Churchill Brothers in an I-League encounter played at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.
The 2-2 draw saw a few controversial decisions with the most glaring being Dharmaraj Ravanan pulling down Ram Malik in retaliation off the ball, but was only handed a yellow card.
Bencherifa refrained from making any untoward remark on referee Umesh Bora keeping in mind that it could lead to a repercussion ahead of the Kolkata derby against East Bengal.
“I don't want to comment about the referee,” he said.
Speaking on the result, Bencherifa explained, “The boys tried hard, but we needed to mend two-or-three positions on the field. First we tried Katsumi (Yusa) upfront as he is creative and can penetrate, but then the midfield looked disorganized. But when I put Katsumi in the midfield in the second half, we controlled the game but lacked something upfront. The penetration was up to the mark."
Bencherifa was quick to point that the game against Churchill wasn’t of good quality but mentioned that the result could have gone either ways towards the end.
“We dominated the match, but lacked finishing. We usually deal well with long balls, and that happened today again. We had ups and downs and I don't think the game today was of great quality. There were some good moments, some bad moments for both the teams. The last 10-15 minutes we had problem, when they put in the striker (Cristian Lagos) with the height. Both the strikers were very strong in terms of physicality. The result could have been worse, could have been either ways. After 2-2, they had two good corners, but before their second goal, we could have killed the game."
"I am not getting carried away and I am in control of the situation. We were in a position, when a piece of individual brilliance could win us the game. Every game will be a challenge like this for us.”
Mohun Bagan next face East Bengal on March 1st and Bencherifa stated that form would be vital going into the derby.
"The derby will be a completely different ball game. There you take out all the points and positions of the teams out of the game and put them into the office drawer. I know a win in that match can make the supporters happy after a disappointing season."
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