Barcelona and Spain legend Xavi Hernandez made his managerial debut when his side Al Sadd SC faced local rivals Al Duhail SC in an AFC Champions League 2019 knockout match.
The first leg of the Round of 16 tie of the ACL 2019 ended in a 1-1 draw with Qatar international winger Akram Afif giving Xavi’s Al Sadd an away goal to take in to the second leg to be held in Doha next week.
Xavi loses a shoe after Al Sadd denied penalty against Al Duhail in AFC Champions League 2019
However, the former Barcelona midfielder was far from a happy man during and after the tie at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.
With the game heading for a 1-1 draw in the injury-time of the second half, Al Sadd’s Salem Al Hajri won a header at the edge of the box which seems to have hit the hand of Al Duhail defender Bassam Al Rawi prompting the Al Sadd players to appeal for a penalty.
However, the referee waved away the protests and blew the final whistle some seconds later resulting in Xavi, kicking a water bottle in the technical area, letting one of his shoes fly through the air and away from the Spaniard.
Xavi loses his shoe calling for a penalty as Al Sadd draw with Al Duhail in his managerial debut
The 39-year-old left the ground with only one shoe, but there were still signs of progress for his Al Sadd side who enjoyed a good amount of possession in the game and will have travelled home the happier of the two sides.
“My only disappointment is that we didn’t win. It’s not a bad result as we scored an away goal, but we deserve more than that. What makes me happy is how the players performed on the pitch,” Xavi told Al Sadd’s official website.
“Mistakes are part of the game. I don’t like to talk about refereeing. A penalty call in the last minute of the game is tough for the referee, but in my opinion, it was a penalty,” he told when quizzed about the penalty decision in the dying minutes of the game.
Xavi had incidentally retired from his playing career against the same opposition, Al Duhail, back in May in which ended in a 4-1 defeat to Al Sadd in the Emir of Qatar Cup final.
Xavi's first Asian Champions League game as a manager didn't go to plan – he lost his shoe kicking a water bottle after his team Al-Sadd were denied a late penalty against Al-Duhail! 🦶😂 pic.twitter.com/JmGfnx5VDd
— Abdulai Suburu (@SuburuAbdulai) August 6, 2019
Xavi’s second match in his fledgling coaching career will be the return leg of the ACL 2019 tie scheduled to be held at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on August 13.