Kolkata: Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa rued missing a genuine penalty in their goalless draw against East Bengal in the return-leg I-League derby here today.
"It was a genuine penalty. Hope in future such mistakes go in favour of us," he quipped at the post-match press conference.
In a 52nd minute move from Odafa Okolie, Tolgay Ozbey`s powerful shot was handled by Uga Okpara inside the East Bengal box but the Kerala referee Santosh Kumar overruled the appeal.
"Such things happen. It`s a human error may be. It was part and parcel of the game."
All praise for their boys` show, the Moroccan said, "I am proud of my team today. Don`t forget that we played the topmost team of the I-League today."
"Yet we matched them in every department. (Goalkeeper) Shilton (Paul) had an excellent show under the bar. We created chances, one of them hit the post. Overall I`m very happy."
Bencherifa said that his side was on course of avoiding relegation after the AIFF had docked all their points accumulated in first 10 matches as a punishment for team withdrawal during the first leg derby on December 9.
"We are progressing, making improvements in each game. It`s a good sign," the Bagan coach said.
Meanwhile, East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan criticised Bencherifa`s ploy and termed it over defensive.
"Little you could do when the opponents have a 4-5-1 formation, putting all their focus behind defence. We could have won only through an individual brilliance."