First Fujairah, now Dorados: Diego Maradona's wait for first title as manager goes on

Argentine great has been left empty-handed in two consecutive finals in Mexican football but has transformed the fortunes of Dorados

SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO - MAY 05: Diego Maradona coach of Dorados reacts   during the final second leg match between Atletico San Luis and Dorados de Sinaloa as part of the Torneo Clausura 2019 Ascenso MX at Estadio Alfonso Lastras on May 5, 2019 in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. (Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images)
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Diego Maradona's wait for a first title as manager goes on after his Dorados team lost the Mexican second-division finals, along with their shot at promotion, on Sunday.

Rivals Atletico San Luis scored the lone goal of the second leg in extra time to clinch the title and a spot in the first division - the second time they have left Maradona empty-handed in two consecutive finals.

"I nearly died ... But it's fine. I'm sad for my boys, though," Maradona said after the match.

The Argentine great and his team faced a tough task heading into the second-leg match, having been held 1-1 in the first leg at home in Culiacan, in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

They managed to hold Atletico to 90 goalless minutes playing away in the central city of San Luis Potosi.

But Spanish defender Unai Bilbao slotted in the winning goal for the home team in the 103rd minute, after Dorados 'keeper Gaspar Servio failed to clear a free kick.

The loss ended a 14-game unbeaten streak for Dorados, who faced a hostile crowd of nearly 25,000 that booed Maradona relentlessly.

Maradona, 58, took the manager's job at the Sinaloa-based club in September, and he has answered his critics by coaching the struggling Dorados to back-to-back finals, both against San Luis.

San Luis defeated Dorados 4-3 on aggregate in the autumn season finals in December.

Having now won the spring finals, too, San Luis - an affiliate of Atletico Madrid - gain automatic promotion to the first division. Had they lost, they would have faced a play-off against Dorados to decide which won promotion.

Maradona can legitimately boast to having turned Dorados around: they were in 13th place in their 15-team division when he arrived.

But the dream of winning a title as manager still eludes him, after stints managing the Argentine national team and various clubs in Argentina, the Middle East and now Mexico.

While at UAE second division club Fujairah, Maradona led the club to an unbeaten league season in 2017/18, but fell short of achieving automatic promotion to the Arabian Gulf League before losing in the play-off final.

In April, he said he planned to leave Dorados at the end of the season, alleging the league's referees were biased against him.