Al Ahli coach Olaroiu rues refereeing decisions

Olaroiu said it was a game a game of fluctuating fortunes with both teams enjoying periods of sustained possession without ever coming close to getting the winner.

By Rituraj Borkakoty -reporter/chief Sub Editor

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Published: Tue 28 Oct 2014, 9:14 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:32 PM

Dubai: Al Ahli coach Cosmin Olaroiu, a man of considerable bulk, lookedpowerless when confronted by questions on refereeing decisions in histeam’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Al Ain in the Arabian Gulf League match at Rashid Stadiumon Mondaynight.

“What can I say? It’s a problem and I don’t have a solution,” Olaroiu said at the post-match Press conference after the defending champions were reduced to 10 men. It was a game of fluctuating fortunes with both teamsenjoying periods of sustained possession without ever coming close togetting the winner.

Carlos Munoz, the diminutive Chilean forward, who scored Al Ahli’sequaliser with a crisp header in the 35th minute, thought he had given thehosts a chance to score a winner in the injury-time tagged by referee Yaqoub Al Hammadi. There appeared a definite contact when the striker’simpish run inside the box was blocked by Al Ain defender Ismail Ahmed andcase for a spot kick. Instead the referee punished Munoz with a second yellow for diving, hence his marching orders was imminent. Thatunjustified red card sparked outrage among the home team players and fans,who booed the referee.

Incredibly, Olaroiu too found himself in trouble after the referee sent him off for angry protests against the Chilean’s ‘unfair’ dismissal.“Well, if I was the referee, I would have given the penalty,” said Olaroiu, whose team now occupy the fifth place after eight games with 13points. The same referee was there in our previous game against Al Ainlast season and that time too he had given Al Ain a penalty when everyoneknew there wasn’t one.”

There was something though that made the Romanian happy. “I want tocongratulate my players for the spirit they had shown tonight. It was atough game against a very tough team, but my boys never stopped trying,they never stopped running. It has been a roller coaster ride this season,but we are slowly getting there,” pointed out Olaroiu, whose team has drawn four games.

Zlatko Dalic,Olaroiu’s counterpart, couldn’t hide his joy of coming away with a crucial point that was earned when Mohanad Salem silenced the homefans with a fifth minute goal from a corner to put Al Ain ahead. “It’s tough to come to this stadium and play a team like Al Ahli without some of our biggest stars Asamoah Gyan and Omar Abdulrahman. But my players played a good game today and I am happy with the draw,” the Croatian coach said.“But let me make one thing very clear that we never play for a draw. We always play to win. We are Al Ain, the biggest club in the country,” he boasted.

The Croat refused to comment on the refereeing controversy. “It’s not my style. I never comment on referees.” Dalic hopes to have all his big players fit when the Arabian Gulf League resumes onNovember 29after a month-long break. Al Ain are currently in fourth position with 13 points from six games.

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com



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