x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Hickersberger fuming as he loses al Kamali for Baniyas game

The young central defender was sent off in the Club World Cup game against Pachuca and must serve his ban in the Pro League fixture.

ABU DHABI // Josef Hickersberger, the Al Wahda coach, is furious his side will be without Hamdan al Kamali for their game against Baniyas on Sunday after the young central defender was sent off in the Club World Cup and must serve his ban in the Pro League fixture.

"It's stupid. That's my opinion," Hickersberger said after Wahda were beaten by Pachuca, the North American champions, in a penalty shoot-out last night.

Hickersberger was left fuming over the new rules that state any player suspended or booked will carry forward the penalty to the next game, irrelevant of whether it is a domestic tournament.

"I'm not responsible for the rule, but I cannot understand the rules because Al Wahda are punished now for competing and playing three matches in the Fifa Club World Cup, and al Kamali, an important player, is suspended for the next match in the local competition against Baniyas," he said.

"If anyone can explain to me the reason for this, I would like to know it. But I cannot change the rules. I can only ask the officials to think about it. It's a completely different competition. One is a Fifa competition, the other is a local one. So why the mix-up in these two competitions, I don't know. It's against fair play."

Wahda were leading 2-0 when al Kamali, 21, was booked for a second time which resulted in his sending off and a penalty that Edgar Benitez fired over the bar.

"It was very unfortunate I got booked twice," al Kamali said. "It was a game we could have won. I felt like I let down my team at a time when we were leading 2-0 and sniffing victory. I thought that was the turning point."

Pachuca's Dario Cvitanich scored twice in the last 10 minutes to send the game to a penalty shoot-out.

"We went into this game without feeling any pressure unlike the previous one against Seongnam [the Asian champions]," al Kamali added. "We were more focused and we settled down well to play a more tactical game.

"We defended solidly and that created a few chances for our forwards, and they scored twice. We had a good grip on the game until we had to play with 10 players."

 

apassela@thenational.ae