Kerala Blasters' unbeaten start to the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season came to an end after they suffered a demoralizing 1-2 defeat against rivals Bengaluru FC at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Monday. David James' men were at the receiving end of a controversial decision for the second game in a row when Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring for the visitors from a blatant offside position.
The linesman's inadequacy to deal with the situation meant that the flag stayed down on the far side in a decision that sent shock-waves through the players and fans alike after it was evident that Chhetri was a yard or two offside in the first place.
Despite their early setback, the hosts would claw their way back into the game through a penalty from Slavisa Stojanovic after Sahal Abdul Samad was brought down inside the area by Nishu Kumar in the 30th minute.
However, Carles Cuadrat's men secured maximum points late in the second half through an own goal from Nikola Krcmarevic, who was unfortunate to put the ball into his own net after Naveen Kumar's excellent stop from Xisco Hernandez rebounded off the Serbian.
Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, who was deployed at the heart of the Blasters' defence ahead of Anas Edathodika for the third game in a row, insisted that his team did not deserve to lose, especially after being on the receiving end of such disappointing decisions.
The Serbian went on to claim that the first goal was clearly from an offside position and stressed on the fact that the Blasters were really unfortunate to walk away without a point in the end.
“Surely it is disappointing because I think we did not deserve to lose today," Lakic-Pesic told Sportskeeda after the defeat to Bengaluru FC.
"We played good even though we were a little tired before the game because we had two games in such short notice.
“But, still I think the first goal was clearly offside. I’m sure of that, we saw it on video as well.
"And the second goal was an own goal so what can I say, it’s unfortunate and we really are disappointed.
“We are now looking forward to the next game to try and win it," he added.
We are sorry that we cannot win at home for our fans: Lakic-Pesic
The atmosphere generated by the home fans during the derby clash against Bengaluru FC proved to be electric and despite not being able to register a single win from their three home games this season, the support has continued to remain unparalleled, like it always does.
Lakic-Pesic admitted that the team feels sorry to not have repaid the fans with their first home win of the season yet and insisted that every single player within the team is working extremely hard to get the elusive win. The defender also suggested that it is disheartening to see decisions go against them and reminded that the Blasters have had no luck with it either.
“We are sorry that we cannot win at home, we have been doing our best. I can guarantee for every player that they are doing the best they can," Lakic-Pesic continued.
“But you see, we don’t have enough luck and there are some decisions that haven’t gone our way.
"There are some problems with the goals that we have conceded like today from an offside position," he concluded.
Lakic-Pesic, who was the only foreigner retained from the team that finished sixth in the previous edition, has played every single minute of the Kerala Blasters' ISL campaign so far this season.Published 06 Nov 2018, 12:41 IST