Mumbai: From table-toppers, Atletico de Kolkata have reached a do-or-die situation ahead of their final home game and coach Antonio Habas has blamed the slide on complacency and a taxing away schedule.
"As you know we were top in the first 10 rounds. Maybe we thought it was too easy for us and now it's difficult for us to get the results as we thought we were already in the semi-finals," he said after his side's 1-2 defeat against Mumbai City FC last night.
The eight-team league is wide open with Mumbai's win and all the teams have a chance to make the semis. Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa have, however, already booked a berth.
The former Bolivia coach said he is not too worried about their chances as they have a home game against FC Goa on Wednesday, where the Kolkata outfit could pick up the vital three points.
"We are not worried and we are not thinking about other games. We depend on ourselves. We have our home game on Wednesday and it depends on us, we have to win. We are not worried about Delhi or Kerala or other teams," he said, referring to the other teams' chances.
He was critical of the schedule and said he had never seen a league where a team played most of their last matches away.
"I trust my players and we will try our best in the next game. Obviously we wanted to get a point today but we couldn't and that is sport. I have never seen any feature on the wall when one team has to play four games away in the last five of the season. But there is nothing we can do about it," the Spaniard said.
Mumbai City FC coach Peter Reid was pleased with his side's performance and said they deserved to win.
"The young guns defended it well. I have got to give players a lot of credit. Due to the injuries we had to change formation three-to-four times and the players adapted really well. I thought it was a really good performance.
"Pavel (Cmovs) at the back and Asif (Kottayil) in the middle of the park was absolutely outstanding. It was a good performance and I think it was a result we just about deserved against a good side," he said.
Despite moving a place higher after last night's win, Mumbai's chances still are quite bleak.
"We were trying to look after ourselves but I just think how good the league has been. I know it's the start but no one can predict the result...Still Einstein has got to work it out. I know we have to go to the North East and get a result. There are numerous teams with a chance and that's what makes the league so interesting and exciting," Reid, the former Manchester City coach, said.
Asked about the eight minutes stoppage time, Reid admitted that he was nervous that his side might concede a goal and said ATK striker Arnal Llibert's goal in the dying minute was correctly ruled as off-side.
"I thought it would be a little bit longer and I was worried about missing the bus....You want to defend and I was just conscious of conceding off a free-kick for the first goal where we got soaked in at the back. To be fair to the players, they held a good line when the ball came into the box and I saw TV replays and it was off-side.
Reid insisted the result was not a revenge against the opponent to whom they lost 0-3 in the lung-opener.
"I don't look at it like that. It was a game that we had to win and I am just delighted we did. Nothing about revenge. You could say we are going to North East, East beat us here, but are we after revenge? No. We are just trying to win the game and that's the only way we can look at it," he said.
Mumbai could have added another goal to their tally when Indian striker Abhishek Yadav missed the opportunity in the 68th minute.
Portuguese mid-fielder Tiago Ribiero had passed him the ball inside the box but the 34-year-old tried to control it instead of tapping it, which allowed a defender to come back and poke it away.
Yadav rued the missed opportunity but said he was glad that the team won the match.
"I know I got a couple of good chances. The first miss was bad. I thought I should have tapped in first touch, but then it happens. I am glad that we won the match eventually. The team spirit for the match was great and that is what won us the game...Had I scored that goal, things would have been more comfortable for us," Yadav said.