Mukherjee blames referee fo Sana'a setback

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Sana'a, May 15 (UNI) Blaming the referee for the defeat against Ahli Sana'a in their AFC Cup tie, East Bengal coach Alok Mukherjee today said the local conditions prevented his boys from giving their best.

''The referee was not good as the goal came from an offside position,'' Mukherjee was quoted as saying by the-AFC.com.

''The atmosphere affected us while the high altitude affected the players and they couldn't play as well as they can,'' he added.

The former Indian international was unhappy with the performance of his team and admitted that their pre-match preparations were below par.

''I was surprised with the below-par performance from our players in the first half and while we had a good game in the second half we couldn't create any notable chances,'' he lamented. ''We didn't have good preparations for the match as it was our last game of the season and things didn't go as we expected.'' East Bengal lost the crucial encounter against Ahli Sana'a here yesterday. The only goal of the game came in the 44th minute through striker Ali Al Nono.

The Kolkata team has thus missed the opportunity to reach the quarterfinals as they finished their league engaments with seven points from six matches.

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