ISL 2018-19: Steve Coppell calls for VAR after dubious FC Goa goals

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ISL
The former Manchester City manager believed both of Ferran Corominas' goals should not have stood...

It was a bitter pill to swallow for ATK on Valentine's Day as the Kolkata outfit were blanked 3-0 by FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium.

The result meant ATK were six points adrift of a top-four spot with only two games in hand. Head coach Steve Coppell was quick to call for the introduction of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Indian football after both goals scored by Ferran Corominas were found to be dubious on television replays.

Asked if his side still had the belief to make the playoffs by the television presenters, Coppell replied, "Not at the moment no. It was a tough day for us. I thought the second (goal) was offside. I cannot believe how that was given even from my poor vantage point.

"Then, having just seeing the penalty there, I am just thinking, what is going on with the officials? All for VAR. That is the thing I hope that comes forward in the future for Indian football. I think it will be a real bonus to make sure the right decisions are given rather than vague, obscure decisions."

Later in the press conference, the Briton gave a proper explanation as to how his side were on the back foot from the get go, especially when Jackichand Singh scored for the hosts in the very first minute of the game itself.

FC Goa ATK Ferran Corominas

"Pronay (Halder) and Lanza (Manuel Lanzarote) were both injured after our recent game against Pune (FC Pune City). That's why they were not available. We were hoping that they would be fit enough to play but unfortunately no (that didn't happen) and to lose two of our key players affected us.

"And then to concede a goal in the first minute. It was a kick for us. We struggled to get a foot in the game in the first half. You look at Goa - they are one team you don't want to give a one-nil start to."

ATK have little chance of finishing in the top four as they would need to win both their remaining games and hope all others around lose. Coppell, however, called for his troops to not lose heart.

He said, "Mathematically, we still have I don't know what per cent chance. We play Mumbai [City FC] at home. That might put us in a position where we can overhaul Mumbai. So while there is hope, we live in hope.

"We will now lick our wounds and go home tomorrow and then get ourselves ready for the game next Friday (February 22). Obviously a massive game and (there is) still something on it.

"Unbelievably, we still have something of real importance to play for and while that continues we will keep going," he concluded.

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