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ISL: Denied a penalty but I'm happy, says NorthEast United coach

"It was a clear penalty. In a tight game like this, a decision such as this could have made a huge difference," Herbert said after the 0-0 draw in Delhi.

Subhasish Dutta | News18 Sports

Updated:October 30, 2014, 2:09 PM IST
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ISL: Denied a penalty but I'm happy, says NorthEast United coach
"It was a clear penalty. In a tight game like this, a decision such as this could have made a huge difference," Herbert said after the 0-0 draw in Delhi.

NorthEast United FC boss Ricki Herbert expressed happiness over his team's performance in their 0-0 draw against Delhi Dynamos in the Indian Super League on Wednesday.

"I am pleased with the performance of my team. We have continued to progress. We missed certain key players but did everything well tonight [Wednesday]. We attacked well, kept a clean sheet. I am encouraging my young team and it is satisfying that they are performing on the field," the former New Zealand head coach said at the post-match press conference.

"It was a tough game and Delhi were a very good side. I am pleased with the draw, especially when my side did not have some key players [marquee player Joan Capdevila and Koke]," he said.

However, Herbert said his team was denied a certain penalty, a decision that could have been decisive and tilted the balance in their favour in the closely contested game. "I have seen the footage of the incident. It was a clear penalty. In a tight game like this, a decision such as this could have made a huge difference," Herbert said.

Winger Robin Gurung's dangerous run inside the box was stopped by defender Wim Raymaekers in the 65th minute and provoked a strong shout from the NorthEast camp for a penalty but referee Pratap Singh swiftly shot down the appeal.

Herbert, though, didn't criticise the referee and chose to take the decision in his stride while praising Gurung for his impressive performance. "These things happen in football. On another day we could have got the penalty decision in our favour. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't. We have to move on. I am happy with Gurung's effort. He has been superb in all of our matches," Herbert said.

The coach had a special word of appreciation for the NorthEast fans who turned up in large numbers and were more vocal than the home fans.

"Our supporters have been fantastic. They have turned up in large numbers in Mumbai and here and, of course, in Guwahati. I also expect huge support in Pune. Hopefully, we will pay back in some way for their support," he said.

Goalkeeper TP Rehenesh, who made at least three spectacular saves, said he was growing in confidence and learning every day in the company of some of the top international stars.

"I am learning every day. I got encouragement from Capdevila and other international players. My coach told me not to wait for the ball but to go for it," said the 21-year-old from Kerala.

With the draw, NorthEast missed a chance to go second, overtaking Chennaiyin FC, and close the gap on leaders Atletico de Kolkata in the standings. They are now third in the standings with eight points from five matches while Delhi stayed fourth with six points from four games.

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