FC Pune City squandered a golden opportunity to qualify for the Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs when they drew 1-1 away to Bengaluru FC on Friday.
Coach Ranko Popovic, addressing the media after the game, felt that his team deserved to win and qualify for the semifinals on the balance of play.
"I think we were closer to the win and we deserved to win the game. We were organised, they did not have any big chances before the goal and we had some situations which could have easily gone in our favour," he said.
"If we take the big part of the game, I think we were closer to winning it and this was necessary for us to make history. But we are going on a good way and I hope we will very soon do what everyone is expecting from us,” he added while expressing his disappointment that his team could not confirm their first ever qualification to the playoffs on Friday.
Not one to be deterred though, Popovic remarked, "We lost one chance today (to make the playoffs). Had we won today, we would have practically been in the semi-finals. But, this is good for football, and also for us.
"We have to challenge and we have a couple of days before the game, and like all the games, we will try to get three points from that."
Popovic also went on to provide an understanding view of the referee's decisions in the game, despite not being completely satisfied with them.
"“This is one of the most talented Indian referee,” the Serbian stated. “I know he tried to keep the balance between the two teams. We tried from our side to help him because he is still young and is one of the most promising for Indian football. Tonight, I was not satisfied with some of his decisions, but I respect the referees, and I know he will learn and be a good referee in future.”