India coach Jose Brasa lashed out at match officials for awarding the South Africans a controversial third goal in their match against India at the Hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Monday.
In the 46th minute of the last Pool B match, Sarvanjit Singh sounded the boards but South Africa appealed for a foul inside the Indian striking circle and the field umpires referred the matter to the video umpire.
To the shock of the Indians, the video umpire not only disallowed the Indian goal but also awarded a penalty corner in favour of South Africa who scored their goal from it.
A fuming Brasa said at the first instance the foul was committed by a South African player by raising his stick high over Vikram Pillay's head and then the umpires allowed the referral, long after the Indians had scored.
"We were told at the meeting before the World Cup that the referral should be immediately after an alleged foul but South Africa did it after we counterattack and scored. That is not fair," Brasa said.
"Moreover, it was not a foul at all by the Indians and there should not have been a penalty corner. It was the South African player who was resorting to dangerous play by raising his stick high over Vikram Pillay and then hitting his stick.
"The video umpire should have said that sorry your (South African) appeal could not be upheld and so the Indian goal stands. But the South Africans were given their third goal," lamented the Spaniard.
Brasa also lamented about the watering of the pitch.
"The pitch was not watered after the second game and when I wanted the pitch to be watered the technical officials said no. They are the boss but I don't know the reason why. Because of that we could not stop the two penalty corners we got in the first half as the pitch was dry.
"At the breather, the pitch was watered and there was no problem for the South Africans to stop the ball and they scored their (controversial) third goal from a penalty corner.
"It was Indian water and Indian pitch and we were not allowed to use our own water," quipped Brasa in a lighter vein.
He also revealed that goalkeeper Sreejesh Raveendran has been ruled out for three months due to a back injury.
"This morning we came to know that he has a back problem. He has been advised three-week rest. We will start training four weeks after the World Cup and by that time he will be all right.
"Moreover, Deepak Thakur had an elbow injury while training yesterday, which was very painful. So he did not play today. Shivendra (who was stamped on the head by a South African) will be all right," he said.
Brasa conceded that the left side has been a problem for the side and the team management will have to sort this out after the World Cup.
Captain Rajpal Singh also rued the controversial third goal awarded to South Africa.
"The players had discussed before the match that what would happen if the referral appeal takes a long time after an alleged foul. But it happened today to us. The rules are not clear but it happens," he said.