ISL 2017 - Bengaluru FC's Albert Roca: Gurpreet Sandhu should have controlled himself

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Albert Roca Bengaluru FC Head Coach
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Sandhu picked up a straight red card as Bengaluru succumbed to a 4-3 away loss to FC Goa...

Thursday night saw Bengaluru FC suffer their first defeat of the Indian Super League (ISL) season at the hands of FC Goa, a game that finished 4-3 in favour of the home side. However, the talking point of the match was the sending off of Bengaluru FC keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the 36th minute for pushing FC Goa's Manuel Lanzarote inside his own box. 

The Blues' manager Albert Roca felt it was Gurpreet's sending off which shifted the game in Goa's favour and ultimately saw them run out as winners. 

"It's a shame the manner in which he (Gurpreet) got provoked. My goalkeeper cannot react like this. He's young and has good quality but put himself in trouble today. He had to control himself. With 11 players, we were playing quite good and we could have got back in the game. Even at 2-1, we could have scored," Roca said.

The Spaniard lauded his side's endeavours to stage a comeback even after trailing 3-1 but felt the result could've easily gone their way had they not made mistakes at the start of the game. 

"I like the way my team tried to come back but we made a lot of mistakes in the beginning of the game and we were punished every time they had opportunities. That's football and we have to learn. We spent too much energy trying to come back and they took advantage of that," explained Roca. 

The 54-year-old wasn't impressed with some of the decisions made by the referee as well but said he'd rather not talk much about it as his side committed a lot of mistakes throughout the game.

"I do not agree about the refereeing when Coro was out (of the playing field). The referee let him come in with the ball in attack. Our defence was surprised to see him coming back in. Imagine if they had scored through a counter attack. I don't want to complain too much as we made a lot of mistakes and we have to learn from that." 

The Bengaluru coach defended his team's captain Sunil Chhetri who had a rather quiet outing against the Goan side. 

"Sunil is an incredible player. He's the captain of the Indian national team and he's a human. He can play better. This player has given us so much. Today he was perhaps not that great but he's always fighting."

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The coach also rued his team's inability to garner a vital point away from home. 

"We lost too many passes in the midfield and we have to work on that. I'm not so happy. Perhaps Goa did not press so much in the second half as they were expecting us to lose the ball, but we were really playing well. We were trying to find solutions," he said.