I-League 2017: Gokulam coach unhappy with the referee, feels red card was unnecessary
What's the story?
East Bengal edged past Gokulam Kerala FC by virtue of a 44th-minute strike from Mohammad Rafique in their I-League 2017 clash on Wednesday. The visitors played lion’s share of the second half with 10 men after Rohit Mirza was sent off after he collided with Japanese Katsumi Yusa.
Gokulam coach Bino Chiramal felt that the referee’s decision to penalise Rohit Mirza in the 54th minute was uncalled for and ended their chance of making a comeback in the match.
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Though the visitors fought hard to fetch a point from the tie, the East Bengal defence stood tall and ensured that they secure the three points. The first half was pretty evenly poised as each of the teams created only a few opportunities.
Gokulam came close to scoring a goal when Francis Ambane’s shot hit the woodwork and came back. In the second half, Gokulam tried to get the equaliser but the numerical superiority of their opponents never let that happen.
The heart of the matter
Gokulam forward Rohit Mirza produced a rough challenge on Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa and both of them went down in pain. At first, the referee quickly showed a yellow card, but a few moments later he went for the red one.
“The referee first showed the yellow card, and after that, he shows a red card. The boy (Rohit Mirza) now has serious injuries in the sheen bone. He never kicked deliberately,” said Bino Chriramal in the post-match press conference.
Bino felt that East Bengal played pretty ordinary football, even when they had an extra man on the field. “I think we played better than East Bengal in the first half, we had created a lot of chances," he said.
"Even when we were down to 10 men, we created chances. Our boys played pretty well coming all the way to Kolkata. East Bengal couldn’t score a goal even when we were down by a man.
“We are missing many of our key players, including a Syrian. We played with two foreigners, but East Bengal played with 5 foreigners. We still gave them a hard fight,” added Bino.
Gokulam FC is currently lying in the 8th position with only 4 points but the fact that they will be playing five back-to-back home matches will cheer them up a bit. The Kerala-based side will be playing their next match on the last day of this calendar year against Aizawl FC.
Even though they lost the match, Gokulam FC put up a spirited fight with Bayi Kamo and Francis Ambane spearheading their attack. If all their foreigners are fit along with their captain Sushanth Matthews, the South Indian team is sure to give a tough time to the other I-League teams.