ATK coach Antonio Habas was sent-off at the Salt Lake stadium after he was involved in a scuffle with the Kerala Blasters technical staff during the closing stages of the game which ended 1-0 in the visitors’ favour.
Assistant coach Manuel Cascallana allegedly stamped on Ishfaq Ahmed’s foot which saw the Blasters assistant coach go down in pain.
Interestingly, Cascallana blamed Kerala Blasters coach Eelco Schattorie for his part in instigating the scuffle.
“It was a bit troublesome. We entered because of the provocation of the Blasters bench. Eelco (Schattorie) instigated it by making gestures and spat at the ground in a defamatory manner, and hence Habas ran to their side. It was difficult to keep calm today as the refereeing was poor but they provocated and hence, the response,” he explained.
Kerala Blasters did the double over ATK this season after having defeated them 2-1 on the opening day in Kochi.
“I don’t think we were outwitted. It was 0-0 with so many chances for both teams. We had our chances but they scored a very good goal. Congratulations to them. But for me, this isn’t a fair result. For me, it should’ve been a draw,” he mentioned.
“It’s always difficult when you lose games. For us it was not an easy game. We know they had very good players and very good strikers. We have the responsibility to win every game. Today we couldn’t get the result we wanted. Kerala scored the goal, we couldn’t today. But it was an intense match today which we lost in the end,” said Cascallana.
ATK substituted Agus midway through the second half and Cascallana explained the reason for doing so.
“He (Agus) had some problems with his legs. We talked about that in half-time and knew there was a possibility for this to happen. Victor (Mongil) can play in both positions, but things like that can happen in football,” he reasoned.
Habas will not be sitting in the technical area for their game against FC Goa and Cascallana admitted that missing the head coach will certainly hurt them.
“It’ll be very difficult. But we are a unit who know how to thrive even if our coach isn’t there. So I don’t think we’ll completely break down without him.
“They (Edu Garcia and David Williams) are going to be back for the next match. They are training normally and we will have a full squad for that game,” he signed off.