Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna blamed refereeing for their Durand Cup final loss to 10-man Gokulam Kerala 1-2 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Salt Lake on Saturday.
Trinidadian forward Marcus Joseph’s brace helped the Kerala outfit beat Mohun Bagan to win the oldest competition of Asia for the first time since FC Kochin won it 22 years ago.
Joseph in the 45+1st minute converted a penalty to give Gokulam Kerala the lead, and in the 51st minute, he sealed the win for his side with a menacing left-footer.
Vicuna claimed that the move of the first goal from the penalty was off-side. He also blamed the referee Ajitkumar Meitei for not awarding a penalty in the 90+6th minute when Muhammad Irshad came in the way of Chamorro inside the box.
Mohun Bagan too got a red card when Fran Morante, who was on the bench, shouted at the referee and linesman in the 90+7th minute for not giving a penalty.
“I think there were two situations. For the first goal, I thought Henry (Kisekka) was offside slightly and second was the penalty,” the Spaniard said about Kisekka being brought down by their goalkeeper Debjit Majumder.
“I don’t want to give an excuse. But tonight for me the first goal was offside at least on the field. Also, the penalty was genuine. It was unbelievable. I respect the referees but the fourth official disrespected me. That is not something I will accept,” Vicuna said.
In both the instances, TV replays showed that Kisekka was on-side, while Irshad did not hand the ball in the dying minutes of the game.
Mohun Bagan, who last won the Durand Cup in 2000, have now lost in three finals on the trot (2004, 2009, 2019). Meanwhile, Joseph finished with 11 goals from five matches to be adjudged Man of the Match Golden Boot winner.
(With inputs from PTI)