Kolkata: Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa rued not getting a genuine penalty in their goalless draw against East Bengal in the return-leg I-League derby here Saturday.
"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 his 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."