Ludhiana: FC Kolhapur City were crushed by Manipur Police SC on Tuesday as they lost 7-1 to let go of any hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the Indian Women's League (IWL).
MPSC stormed their way into the semi-finals with a four-goal performance from their captain Bala Devi while Kolhapur were left to rue the numerous offside decisions that went against them.
While Kolhapur found it difficult to create clear-cut chances but even when they were able to create space, their attackers were often flagged offside. Their Nigerian striker Crystal Nnenna Eke was a big victim of the offside calls and Kolhapur were not happy with the various offside calls.
"We were playing a high line today but irrespective of that, many a times the referee was not in the line of the second last defender due to which there was a slight onside offside problem here,” Kolhapur coaches said.
Calling the decision-making “pathetic”, the coaches said that when MPSC players were offside, the referee kept them onside, but when their players were onside, they were flagged offside. “We don't expect it at IWL. This was an important match and it should be fair.”
"They can score the amount of goals they scored today but it should be fair to both. I felt a lot of decisions were wrong. I don't know she was under pressure or what because they do this job everyday so they know exactly what is onside and offside. The only thing is she could not keep up with the line we expected her to. She is the best judge and then the cameras but I felt onside offside was a problem today," Kolhapur coaches expressed.
The referee during MPSC vs FCKC tried to keep her cards inside her pocket as much as she could. There were hardly any major foul calls and the match had a flow to it.
"I feel a lot of times tactical fouls happen which is for the referee to decide but there are fouls that anybody can see in the stadium and say that it's a foul so those kinds the referee is expected to spot. I felt there were a few decisions here and there but it's the referee's call so we wouldn't get much into that."
Bala Devi is currently the top scorer of the IWL with 17 goals in her kitty. On Tuesday as well, Bala was at her best, celebrating each goal of hers in style as she tormented the Kolhapur backline.
"Bala is basically a very intelligent player. She was easily moving our defence line and then others were creating space. She made it happen for them. I would score her 10 on 10 in today's match in breaking through. Irrespective of refereeing decisions, she was excellent and I cannot take that away from her," Savio, Kolhapur coaching team member, said.
Kolhapur, who were playing their first IWL, will now look to strengthen themselves for the next season and said the team had a lot to learn from the experience of this season.
"The last round is just sort of a consolation for us but there is a lot to learn for the team and as coaches too because this is the first year for Football Club Kolhapur City. This is a new experience and there are a lot of things to take home. We will come back strong next year. We know now what we are preparing for."