Referee’s gaffe could have proved costly for Kerala Blasters
The ISL match between Pune and Kerala was an exciting encounter which witnessed three goals. The penalty scored by Pune shouldn't have been really given and it led to more controversy.
The Kerala Blasters were way ahead of their opponents in the first half as they were constantly attacking as soon as they got possession of the ball and pressurized whenever they were defending. As usual, Iain Hume was the live wire of the Yellow Army. But on the verge of half-time, he collided into the Pune keeper, Vishal Kaith and got his right knee injured. Immediately Baldvinsson was subbed on for Hume.
In the second half, Pune was the team to do all the attacks. But a quick move from Blasters ended in a superb long-range goal by our midfield maestro Jackichand Singh.
But in the 78th minute, a run from Emiliano Alfaro into the box forced the Kerala keeper, Subhashish Roy to charge forward and he tipped the ball out of play. At the same time, Alfaro just dived forward. Even though there was no or minimal contact from Roy, the referee pointed at the spot. It was a very harsh decision on the Blasters players.
But fate was with them as an injury-time long-range strike from CK Vineeth ensured Kerala Blasters all three points which was necessary to have a chance for the semis.
The penalty wasn't the only bad decision made by the referee. He awarded yellow cards for soft fouls and refused to go to his pockets for those worth it. Marcelinho was shown a yellow for a horrible challenge on Prasanth, which should have been a straight sent-off.
As the league is nearing its climax stages, the referees need to be more careful in making decisions as they are not only match-deciders from here. They are also cup-deciders. AIFF should look forward to bring more quality referees who are well trained. We need quality refereeing for better football.