AFC Asian Cup 2019: Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup reacts to dubious UAE penalty

Bahrain Asian Cup

Bahrain managed to hold hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a 1-1 draw in the opening match of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

But all the talk after the match was about the penalty kick controversially awarded to UAE which helped the hosts salvaged a point from the tournament opener.

Mohamed Al Romaihi had put Bahrain ahead in the 78th minute. But Bahrain’s Mohamed Marhoon who had just came on as a substitute was penalised for handball inside the area from a corner kick giving UAE a lifeline.

However, Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup felt that his team were hard done by the penalty awarded by the referee.

“I don’t know. Not really a handball. But maybe touched the ball, but sorry, I don’t know,” the Czech coach told the news conference after the match.

“I also didn’t see some video until now because I was only in the changing room and come back [for the news conference]. Sorry,” he said.

“Form my position, I didn’t see anything. But maybe this is a hard luck. Because it’s after three-four corners and then there is a handball. This is hard luck, not the result, but the handball is hard luck,” the Bahrain coach said.

Meanwhile, Bahrain midfielder Ali Madan, who watched the handball awarded from close quarters, was adamant it was not a penalty.

“A satisfactory result, we had expected the best. We would have taken all three points hadn’t been for that penalty,” said the 23-year-old.

“And I think it was not a penalty. It should not have been awarded,” the Al-Najma SC star said. “These mistakes from the referees can happen in football. I hope we will give our best in the next match,” he said.