FC Pune City suffered a 4-0 humiliating defeat at the hands of FC Goa in what was their final home game of the league stage in the fourth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Coach Ranko Popovic accepted the blame but was disappointed with referee Pranjal Banerjee’s decisions which weren’t always in his team’s favour.
“Our performance…shame on me. This is something that we have to apologize to our supporters because this was completely opposite to what we were doing this year. We didn't play like a team and congrats to Goa. But today, I do not care about any bans as I want to tell the truth.
“I don't know if the first one (Adil Khan’s challenge on Hugo Boumous) was a penalty or not, I will watch on the TV. However, Marcelinho was fouled 100 per cent. It was so easy to give penalties today. The same referee (Banerjee) was here for the Kerala game and the television pundits were telling three times we should have had penalties but we did not get.
“The second yellow for Marcelinho, wasn’t the Sifneos foul of the same kind or not? Guys, I am in football for so long but I have seen Marcelinho's foul. If he had stayed for long, he could have broken both legs. It is a bit too much,” said Popovic.
The former FC Tokyo coach did admit that Marcelinho too was guilty of committing fouls and not being on the same page as the rest of the team-mates.
“Of course (he should maintain his demeanour). I tell everyone to first respect the referee always. But the difference between robots and humans are feelings. If someone is suffering so many fouls and the same foul you give for someone in the other team, you are frustrated. I don't want to say that this was intentional (by the referee). But Marcelinho did so many mistakes and the captain is the last person who should do these. He wasn't with the team. He will take the criticism and take the ban,” said the former Real Zaragoza coach.
Emiliano Alfaro will be available for selection in their final league match of the season against Delhi Dynamos. However, Marcelinho and Diego Carlos will miss the tie due to suspension.
“Of course, it is important to have Alfaro. He is a different kind of player. Even if we are not playing with him, we play as a team; today we were not playing like a team. This is the fact,” he concluded.