Spain’s coach Denia: We have to respect the referee’s decision

On Wednesday, riding on Abel Ruiz’s brilliance, Spain booked their place in the final of FIFA U-17 World Cup as they overcame high-flying Mali 3-1 at DY Patil Stadium to set up a mouth-watering clash against an in-form England side at YBK Stadium, Kolkata on Saturday.

In the post-match press conference, Spain’s head coach Santiago Denia and Mali’s head coach Jonas Komla addressed the media.

In the second-half of the match when the score was 2-0 in favour of Spain, Mali’s Doucoure effort hit the underside of the crossbar and crossed the line, but the officials failed to spot it which could have turn the match around.

“I understand if the coaches were upset, but I don’t know if it would have changed the game. We have to respect the referee’s decision. But we might consider not to show the replay on the big screen inside the stadium in order to not to influence the referee, coaches or fans,” Santiago Denia said.

Meanwhile, Mali’s head coach Komla admitted Spain’s neat and clinical performance. “I cannot say anything about the referee. That is how football is. We played a good game, fast game but we couldn’t win. Till yesterday, we won matches but today we lost the match.”

“Maybe that (the disallowed goal) would have given us the luck because after that we had time to score the goals. But Spain did play well,” he concluded.

When asked about Captain Abel Ruiz’s performance, Sergio Denia said: “It was not only the captain but the whole team played well. He demands more from himself from each and every game. He will be the first one to say that he should have got more goals today and he will also know that he has to score those goals in the final. And when you have your captain performing like that your team will automatically look up to him and perform well. That is why you have a captain, a thinker, not just any other ordinary player,” Denia concluded.

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