Qatar coach Felix Sanchez defended the refereeing decisions in his side’s Asian Cup win over Lebanon, whose coach Miodrag Radulovic was furious with the call to disallow a goal for his side.
Lebanon seemed to have taken the lead in the first half when Ali Hamam turned in a corner, but the goal did not count as referee Ma Ning gave a foul for a push in the box.
Bassam Al Rawi’s wonderful free-kick and a late Almoez Ali goal subsequently ensured the next World Cup hosts took all three points from their Group E opener.
But Radulovic and Sanchez could not agree on whether or not it was the right call by Ning not to give the goal scored by Hamam.
“I think the goal was a foul,” Sanchez told a news conference. “I saw the replay on TV and I agree with [the officials].”
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— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 9, 2019
Radulovic, though, was furious and did not hold back in his criticism of the officials in a game where Qatar did not receive a yellow card.
“It’s difficult to talk after such a game because I teach my team to play 11 against 11 players, but [this was] 11 against 12 or 13, meaning the referees,” he said.
“When you play perfect, tactically disciplined, you score 1-0 and they steal our goal, it’s very difficult to continue after that.
“We played textbook football but we’re a poor country, we don’t have a budget like Qatar and you can’t compare with them on this.
“When they cancelled the goal, my players lost concentration, they lost confidence, they saw what happened and it was very difficult after that to continue with such a game. They broke our morale and our confidence.”
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