Al Ansar coach blames heat for AFC Cup loss

March 11th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by admin  


Margao, March 11 (IANS) Al Ansar coach Jamal Taha Tuesday blamed his team’s loss in the AFC Cup opener against Dempo Sports Club to the hot and humid conditions here. “The weather was one of the major reasons why we (lost),” Taha told reporters after the 3-1 defeat at the Nehru Stadium.

“Within the first 25 minutes, several players struggled to remain on their feet. They were too tired,” said the coach who resigned last week only to be persuaded by the management to continue.

The Al Ansar legend also said that other Group A teams - Sur (Oman) and Al Muharraq (Bahrain) - will also find it tough to battle the weather.

“Visiting teams will have a battle on their hand. Dempo’s win today and the conditions here puts them in an advantageous position,” Taha said.

Taha also blamed shoddy finishing and sluggish defence by the visitors for the first half goals.

Dempo Sports Club coach Mauricio Afonso praised his fringe players who took to the field for the first time Tuesday.

Mauricio was lavish in his praise of Joaquim Abarances, Cressan Antao and Melwyn Rodrigues, who he said played with purpose in the absence of seven of Dempo’s regulars who missed the important match due to injuries.

“I am pleased with the team’s effort. If someone had told me we would have won 3-1 against Al Ansar, I would have pinched myself. It’s too good to be true,” he told reporters.

The coach, however, said he would like his players to forget the last 20 minutes of the game when they dropped guard and allowed their rivals to mount attacks.

“We cannot afford to relax at any point of time,” he said. “We were under pressure in the last 20 minutes.”

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