ATK Mohun Bagan were beaten 2-1 by NorthEast United in an Indian Super League (ISL) tie at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Tuesday evening.
Luis Machado fouled defender Tiri before slotting the ball past Arindam Bhattacharya to score the Highlanders' opening goal and the referee chose to overrule the linesman who had raised his flag and allowed the goal to stand. Habas was unhappy with the refereeing and felt that the goal changed the game.
"It was not an inconsistent performance. I think today's result is because of the referee's decision for NorthEast United's first goal. After that, it was another match.
"In the first 45 minutes, we were better than the opponent but we could not score. In the second half, the referee (affected) the score. We conceded the goal when the linesman had the flag raised. I don't understand. We have not had any luck with the refereeing all season," fumed the Spaniard.
The 63-year-old felt that the controversial decision changed the course of the game and revealed that he brought on Manvir Singh after the break due to an injury to David Williams.
"It (decision for the first goal) changed the nature of the match and we had to substitute a player after William's injury. First half was different from the second and the decision of the referee changed the match. The opponent won 2-1 but the first goal was not legal," he went on.
"We didn't have a lot of chances in the second half. We attacked but couldn't create enough chances to score goals. Machado and [Federico] Gallego are good players. They got chances and scored."
Roy Krishna scored his first goal in four matches after failing to register a shot at goal in his last three games. But Habas expressed full confidence in the star striker.
"Roy is a very good player who is very important for us. It's impossible to score goals every day. I have confidence in him and always support him."
The loss keeps ATK Mohun Bagan six points behind leaders Mumbai City at the top of the league table.
"We are still with the same idea and philosophy. We lost a match but not the league. I think we need more respect from the referees. We have only one penalty. I don't understand. All the other teams have five, six, seven penalties and ATK have only one," Habas concluded..