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Referee killed the contest: Mohun Bagan’s Sanjoy Sen

After losing Sunday’s Kolkata football derby 0-4 to arch rivals East Bengal, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen blamed the referee for the second half debacle where his team played with 10 men and had to digest two goals.

Bagan were reduced to 10 men just after the break as Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi was sent off by referee Ranjit Bakshi for a second yellow card offence. Dudu tried convincing him that he went for the ball, but by then was already shown the dreaded red card.

With Dudu off, Bagan lacked the bite upfront and were broken down twice as East Bengal added two more to make the final scoreline 4-0.

“I don’t think the second one was an yellow card offence. Dudu went for the ball. The referee killed the contest by flashing the red card. With a 0-2 deficit and a man down it is always difficult to come back into the contest.

“In the first half we gifted them two goals, and after the breather the referee gifted them the second half where we were psychologically broken,” Sen said.

He also said losing 0-4 hurts him as much as losing a game by a goal, adding it is the media who highlight the scoreline needlessly.

The coach also blamed his skipper and goalkeeper Shilton Paul for being beaten from a Do Dong-hyung free-kick from about 35 yards out and said he missed some key players who are out practising for their Indian Super League (ISL) franchises.

“Goalkeeper is responsible for the first goal. It was about 35 yards out and if you get beaten from that range then that throws questions on your abilities.”

“We really missed some key players who were brilliant in the I-League. We had seven players who were playing their first derby ever,” he said.