Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The dream is over.....for now

Muangthong United can hold their heads high after they advanced far, far further than anyone believed they could, before losing out by the narrowest of margins.

We've done Thai football proud. And we'll be back.

Aleppo: Assistant coach Alexandru Racolta feels Al Ittihad are fully deserving of their place in the final of the AFC Cup after they overturned a first-leg deficit against Muangthong United to set up a clash with Al Qadsia.

Having lost the first-leg of the semi-final 1-0 in Bangkok two weeks ago, Al Ittihad drew level after 27 minutes at the Aleppo International Stadium when Mohamad Al Hasan found himself in the right place at the right time.

Al Hasan then netted the crucial second goal four minutes before the break and Al Ittihad went on to complete a deserved 2-1 aggregate victory, according to Racolta.

"The game in Bangkok had certain circumstances whether in the stadium or with the weather and it proved really critical for us," he said.

"However, tonight we played a great game and we showed our real performance as our team deserved to win and qualify for the final.

"We were the better side whether tactically or on the skills level and we controlled proceedings even after having taken a 2-0 lead.

"Our players gave their best and it was the least that we could do for the great crowd who attended the game."

Muangthong coach Rene Desaeyere, meanwhile, was left to lament the fact that his side were not able to travel to Syria with a bigger advantage under their belts following the narrow triumph in the first-leg.

However, the Belgian still felt his side are a little unfortunate to be exiting the competition.

"In such knockout stage matches, the winners advance through aggregate and I believe that we lost the encounter because we didn't score more than one goal in Bangkok," he said.

"I can't say anything about the referee but we deserved a penalty which could have changed everything in the second-half.

"We played a good game in the first-half and we deserved to score from the chances that we had. The big home fans didn't affect us but Al Ittihad managed to score two goals and won the game.

"We needed to score only one game to qualify and I believe that we should regret not scoring in the first leg but this is football."

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