FIFA WC qualifier: Referee made strange decisions, says India coach

Bengaluru: India coach Stephen Constantine yesterday just stopped short of criticising the referee but made his point that there were some "strange decisions" during his side's 1-2 loss against Oman in the home leg match of the 2018 football World Cup Preliminary Qualification round here.

Trailing 1-2 at the half time, India thought they have scored the equaliser in the 69th minute when C K Vineeth's low cross from the right found way to Oman net after being flicked by defender Sallam Amur but the linesman thought that striker Robin Singh was in off-side position before that.

Asked about the disallowed goal at the post-match press conference, Constantine said, "I am not sure how the goal was disallowed. I turned around and told the players at the bench that it was a goal. It was a goal and obviously to my horror I see at the corner (linesman) raising his flag."

"There were few other decisions which the referee should be asked about them. Certainly some strange decisions. But I am not blaming the referee. We did not do enough in the match," he added. Despite the loss, Constantine said he was happy about the performance his players.

But, he rued that he did not have much time to prepare the players. "I am proud of the way the boys played from start to the end. It is not easy we had just four days to prepare. Again I am not trying to make excuses. We need more time with the players," said the Englishman.

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