FC Pune City fell prey to hosts Chennaiyin FC at the Marina Arena on Saturday night following a 83rd minute strike from Dutch winger Gregory Nelson.
Speaking on the performance of the visitors, assistant coach Vladica Grujic stated that his troops put up an impressive display in the first half and chose not to comment on the refereeing decisions.
“We didn’t play as well as (we did in the) first half. The foul before the goal happened but its okay. I don't want to speak much about it. We played good football in the first half and we controlled the game in the second half,’’ he remarked while assessing the result.
The Maharashtra-based outfit conceded the goal in the final 10 minutes of the match which didn’t give them a lot of time to come back into the tie. Grujic claimed that Marcelinho, who missed the match on account of picking up four yellow cards, could have possibly turned things around if he was present on the pitch.
“When you concede a goal like that, it is not easy to get the rhythm of the team back. Maybe Marcelinho could have done something in that situation but today we did not have that option. You can't win every game and sometimes it happens when you play well and still lose. You just have to deal with it,’’ commented Grujic.
The Vita Dani co-owned outfit bagged full points but Grujic opined that his side didn’t lose to a team who were better.
“I expected a question about the irregularity in this league. If you see the game, Chennaiyin should not have won by being the better team. They are a good team but today's game but there was a foul before their goal. I am sad after this result because we did not lose to a better team. I do not want to speak about it anymore.
“Our coach is already under suspension for speaking about these things. I do not want to speak about it. If you are honest, we all can see what happened,” he said about Chennaiyin being awarded a penalty in the first half.
Diego Carlos was the pick of the Pune players in attack and the assistant coach was quick to praise the efforts of the Brazilian attacker.
“Diego (Carlos) had a good solid game. We have quality players and different players step up at different times. Sometimes it is Marcelinho or Alfaro or Diego,” he signed off.