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De Boer blasts late penalty award

Ajax coach Frank de Boer blasted the officials after Mario Balotelli’s late penalty earned Milan a 1-1 draw in the UEFA Champions League.

Stefano Denswil’s header in the 90th minute looked to have given Ajax their first win in Group H, but referee Jonas Eriksson awarded Milan a stoppage-time penalty after ruling that Mike van der Hoorn had brought down Balotelli inside the area.

The Italy international picked himself up to score the spot-kick and preserve Milan’s unbeaten record after two games, leaving Ajax third in the group with one point.

De Boer, though, was furious with the penalty decision, believing instead that a free-kick should have been given to his side for a Balotelli foul on Van der Hoorn.

“The fifth official had a free-kick for Ajax to give and he did not dare,” De Boer said.

“It was ridiculous that a penalty was given against us. That cost us two points.

“There are always moments of contact. It is the right time to let go. Van der Hoorn left at the right moment.

“Eventually, I can live with a draw, even if the penalty is disappointing.”

De Boer felt that his side had the better of the first half before letting their performance level dip in the second period.

“(It was) too bad that we were slowly off the mark in the second half,” he added.

“We dominated the first half with very good positional play, and we also had our chances.

“If you get three or four good chances in today’s football, you must take at least one.

“After the break we made more wrong choices and were impatient in our play.”

Van der Hoorn, meanwhile, was was left shocked by his part in the game’s late drama.

“The result leaves a very sour taste,” he said.

“It was great when we scored and thought we would win, but then for me and for the team we still cannot believe they equalised.”

Tue 1 October, 2013
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