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The luckier team won, says Hickersberger

Alex Leach / 17 May 2012

Al Wahda coach Josef Hickersberger has wished Diego Maradona and Al Wasl the best of luck in the GCC Champions League after conceding his side had been beaten by the better team.

Wahda fell at the last-eight phase of this competition with a 5-3 penalty-shootout defeat following an attritional 1-1 draw over 120 minutes at Zabeel Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The club’s Austrian boss had few complaints afterwards though in his post-match press conference, believing the good fortune was with Wasl after two first-half injuries disrupted his own playing personnel.

“It was a close and very intense game that was good to watch,” Hickersberger explained.

“All of the players gave their utmost to get into the semis. In the circumstances, with the heat, it was quite a good game.

“Both teams missed some chances and, in the end, the luckier team – Al Wasl – won. “But, they were a little bit better than us because we had to change two players due to injuries at half-time. They looked a little bit better than us.

“Mabrook (Congratulations to) Al Wasl. I’m happy that Maradona is in the semi-final because – as I’ve said before – I like him very much as a person and I will keep my fingers crossed for him that he is able to win silverware with Al Wasl.”

Hickersberger also unnecessarily apologised to the gathered media for the elongated length of time to decide this tie, which even seemingly disrupted his own plans on the night.

“It was a long match, with the extra-time and penalties,” he added. “I didn’t expect that I wouldn’t be able to watch the last match of my former coach Otto Rehhagel, because he is playing in a promotion/relegation play-off with his club Hertha Berlin against Fortuna Dusseldorf – a former club of mine. “I’m sorry that you had to wait so long to know who is the winner of this quarter-final.”


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