Dubai: Al Ain coach Cosmin Olaroiu has launched a scathing attack on his Al Shabab counterpart Marcos Paqueta after the latter suggested it was no coincidence the defending champions were awarded seven penalties in their last seven matches.
Paqueta made his comments after Al Shabab’s 3-2 Etisalat Pro-League loss to Al Ain last Thursday, but Olaroiu now blames the Brazilian for Al Ain not being awarded a spot-kick in their subsequent 0-0 Etisalat Cup Group A draw with Al Nasr on Tuesday.
Olaroiu said: “We get penalties because we play football, we arrive in the box and we force our opponents to make mistakes. If you’re only one or two times in the box, the per centage is less.
“Now [after Paqueta’s comments] they don’t give us anything, even if you kill someone in the box.
“I didn’t see but the players told me about one clear call for a penalty [against Al Nasr] and now they are complaining about this.
“If we win by a 1-0 penalty I can understand why someone is angry that it might be undeserved. But our team has scored 29 goals this season in 7-0 or 5-0 wins. We don’t need the help of referees.”
Of Paqueta, Olaroiu added: “It’s a shame for me if I talk about things that don’t have anything to do with my team. Other teams should concentrate on how they are playing and not talk about Al Ain’s penalties.
“It’s important to talk about your team, the way they play, problems and improvements. Not to talk about another team and find excuses for your loss — Al Shabab have what, four or five points this season?”
Olaroiu, who had a similar bust-up with then-Al Wasl boss Diego Maradona last season, added: “All the top clubs in the world, Manchester United to Juventus, are accused of getting help from referees, but that’s because they play creative, attacking football and arrive in the box more often.
“The referee may take the wrong decision sometimes and make mistakes, but we don’t need the help of referees. The way we play our football is not because referees do or don’t give us a penalty.”
Elsewhere in this week’s Etisalat Cup group matches, Al Wasl recorded their first win under new coach Guy Lacombe with a 1-0 home victory over Bani Yas thanks to a late effort from Emiliano Alfaro — the Lazio loanee’s 10th strike in 11 matches this season.
Dibba Fujairah shocked holders Al Ahli 3-0 at home after a brace from Luiz Fernando and a goal from Alex, giving them their first win in 10 matches. Meanwhile, Al Jazira pegged Kalba back for a 2-2 away draw, Matias Delgado and Abdullah Qasim cancelling out efforts from Saoud Faraj and Saeed Obaid.
In Monday’s matches, Al Shabab’s Paqueta was thrown a lifeline with only his third win of the season, his side fighting back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at home to Ajman thanks to Edgar Bruno’s hat-trick after Ahmad Shehab and Founeke Sy’s earlier goals for the visitors.
Al Wahda beat Dubai 2-1 at home thanks to goals from Marcelinho and Srdan Andric. Al Hassan Keita had given Dubai the lead.