x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Quique Sanchez Flores blasts referee after Luis Jimenez is sent off

Chilean forward is sent off after clashing heads with Emirati referee in 2-1 win over Al Jazira.

Ali Hussain, left, was instrumental in Ahli’s second goal that sealed the game for the hosts against Al Jazira on Sunday night.
Ali Hussain, left, was instrumental in Ahli’s second goal that sealed the game for the hosts against Al Jazira on Sunday night.

DUBAI // Quique Sanchez Flores said Luiz Jimenez lost his composure after the Chilean forward was sent off for butting the referee last night.

Jimenez was shown a straight red card in the 76th minute after he thrust his head into that of Ammar Ali Al Junaibi, the Emirati official. He nows faces a lengthy suspension. His manager felt his  side were on the receiving end of a series of questionable decisions and said "the situation got to Jimenez".

"I think the situation got to Jimenez," Quique Sanchez Flores, the Ahli coach, said. "I did not like the officiating of the referee. We have been facing problems with the refereeing for the last few weeks and it is difficult to fight for good positions in such a situation."

Franky Vercauteren conceded Al Jazira wasted a great opportunity to stay on the tail of Pro League leaders Al Ain after their 2-1 defeat at Al Ahli on Sunday night.

Luis Jimenez gave the home side a second-minute lead and doubled it just past the hour mark before receiving a red card 15 minutes from time for butting Ammar Ali Al Junaibi, the referee, over a decision.

Three minutes after the send-off, Bare pulled one back for the champions, but Ahli survived the closing minutes for a hard-fought win, which takes their tally to 17 points. Jazira remain on 23, four behind Al Ain, who play Al Nasr (21) on Monday night.

"I told the players before the game that if we win today, one way or the other, we could be the big winner of the weekend," Vercauteren said. "Even if Al Ain win, you stay close to them. So the competition would have been between two teams.

"Now we have given this away, but the opportunity stays. Of course, the distance [between Al Jazira and Al Ain] can become big as well. That is no good.

"It all depends on what Al Ain does [at Nasr]. If they win, they will increase their lead at the top. On the other hand, if the result is not positive for them, it opens up the championship race to more than two teams."

The first goal for Ahli came off a forceful first-touch by the debutant Achille Emana. Receiving the ball out wide on the left, he muscled his way into the box and passed for Ismail Al Hammadi, whose shot bounced off the crossbar. Amer Mubarak blasted in the rebound and Jimenez deflected the ball home.

A contentious penalty in the 31st minute gave Jazira an opportunity to equalise, but Obaid Al Taweela, the Ahli keeper, dived to his right to keep out Matias Delgado's tame spot kick.

A goal would have been harsh on the hosts as Bare appeared to go down under minimal contact from Ahli's Lebanese defender Youssef Mohammed.

As Jazira searched for the equaliser, Jimenez doubled Ahli's tally in the 61st minute with another deflection, this time guiding in Ali Hussain's volley.

In the 76th minute, however, the Chile international midfielder was given his marching orders after losing his cool over a decision.

arizvi@thenational.ae

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