India’s brilliant 4-0 rout of Pakistan in the SAFF Championship on Wednesday had a slight jarring note to it as head coach Igor Stimac had to vacate the dugout after receiving a red card.
India assistant coach Mahesh Gawli said the red card might appear a bit harsh on his senior, but the referee had to go by the book.
“Yeah, it was an offence that if you go by the book often attracts a red card. But yeah, but then we feel that it might have been a bit harsh on the coach,” said Gawli during the post-match press do.
IND vs PAK sees RED in the first half
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Stimac rather needlessly tried to obstruct a Pakistan footballer from taking the throw-in, and referee Prajwal Chhetri had to give marching orders to him.
Torben Philip, the Pakistan assistant coach, did not use the incident as a shield for his team’s tepid outing at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
“We did not initiate it, so I think we are on the fare side here of the incident,” said Torben.
The Pakistan assistant also stressed that had they arrived in the city earlier, their performance could have been better. The Pakistan team reached Bengaluru only six hours ahead of the kick off after delay in visa and immigration process put them through the wringer.
“For sure! It (reaching Bengaluru well in advance) could have made a difference. But full credit to India for producing a good game. I am sure, our team will produce better football as the tournament progress,” he added.