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ISL 2019-20: Antonio Habas - It was an unfair decision to award a penalty

1:03 PM EDT 10/20/19
Kerala Blasters vs ATK ISL 2019-20
The Spanish coach was not happy with the referee’s decision to award Kerala Blasters the penalty but was satisfied with his team’s show…

Antonio Lopez Habas’s second stint with ATK began on a disappointing note as the Kolkata club went down 1-2 against Kerala Blasters after taking the lead in the sixth minute of the match.

Two controversial decisions by referee R. Srikrishna changed the course of the game in the first half itself. ATK’s Michael Soosairaj was brought down inside the box by Segio Cidoncha in the 28th minute but the referee chose to wave away the protests.

In the next minute though, a soft challenge from Pronay Halder on Jairo inside the ATK box was given as a penalty in favour of the hosts.

Terming the referee’s call as a ‘unfair decision’, ATK boss Antonio Habas said, “I am not frustrated with the refereeing. I think ATK were better than the opponent. It was an unfair decision to award a penalty whereas a penalty was denied for us.”

The Spanish boss had lined up his team in a three-man backline with Michael Soosairaj and Prabir Das operating as wing-backs. On fielding Soosairaj in an unusual deep role, Habas said, “We had three important strikers in the team. We had to put Soosairaj in that position so that he can perform. I am very happy with him.”

ATK failed to turn around the scoreline in the second half after trailing at half time. But their Spanish coach was not disheartened with his team’s performance.

The former Celta Vigo manager said, “Today there were no goals in the second half. But in a different situation, we would have been leading at half time by four goals.”