DUBAI // Gabriel Calderon, the Al Wasl coach, was a frustrated man on Sunday night, accusing the match officials of robbing his team of two crucial points following a 2-2 draw against Al Shabab.
According to the Argentine, the two equalisers that Shabab scored both came after dubious decisions.
Six minutes after Fabio Lima put the visitors ahead, Shabab winger Henrique Luvannor made a high tackle on Ali Salmeen, which Calderon accused referee Ammar Al Junaibi of overlooking.
Shabab’s Carlos Villanueva then pounced on the loose ball to blast it home.
Wasl took the lead for a second time in the 57th minute, from the penalty spot, after Essa Mohammed had handled the ball.
But the scores were level again in the 75th minute after the referee blew for a handball at the other end as Abdullah Saleh tried to avoid a Villanueva cross.
“The first goals followed a dangerous foul by the Shabab player and he should have got a yellow card, but instead Shabab scored,” Calderon said.
“The second goal, the player [Saleh] kept saying ‘not a penalty, not a penalty’, but the referee had already announced his decision.
“Shabab should thank the referee because all his decisions were in their favour. I cannot understand why they were crying. If all the decisions had gone in my team’s favour, I would thank the referee.
“I have a lot of respect for referees and I don’t like talking about them, but some big decisions have gone against us – in the match against Baniyas and now today.
"So I am not very happy about the result because we clearly deserved to win this match. Three points from this match would have possibly put us among the top four and Wasl tried everything to win this match. Shabab were just happy playing for a draw."
Caio Junior, the Shabab coach, laughed when told about Calderon’s opinion of his team’s performance.
“I don’t think I was watching some other game,” Caio said.
“In my opinion, this match was a very important one for UAE football because I think it was a very good game tactically and individually.
“Both teams were evenly matched, but Shabab were in the better situations.
“Still, I am happy with one point because this point is very important for Shabab.
“One point against Wasl is very important because in my view Wasl have been the best team of the second half of the season.”
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