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UAE through to 2018 Asian Games quarter-finals, but hosts criticise referee

Al Jazira youngster Zayed Al Ameri scored three penalties in all - one in the shootout - as the UAE beat hosts Indonesia 4-3 on penalties

Matt Jones 2018/08/25

Hosts Indonesia criticised the Australian referee for awarding two controversial penalties to the UAE in their Asian Games round of 16 encounter – both of which were scored as the Whites went on to triumph in a penalty shootout in Cikarang, West Java, on Thursday.

Indonesia twice trailed but equalised, including for a second time in the dying seconds, to send the game to extra-time and eventually penalties, cheered on by 25,000 partisan fans.

Robert Evans awarded the Whites their first spot kick in the 20th minute, Andy Setyo adjudged to have felled young Al Jazira striker Zayed Al Ameri.

The 21-year-old, who scored a brace in the 4-1 group stage hammering of Timor-Leste, dispatched the spot kick, but the hosts leveled through Alberto “Beto” Goncalves seven minutes into the second half.

Evans again angered the home side when he pointed to the spot for a second time in the 65th minute, Al Ameri taking full advantage to regain the lead for the UAE. Again the hosts came back though, Stefano Lilipaly netting his fourth goal of the tournament deep into stoppage time to force extra-time.

A winner could not be found and so spot kicks would prove decisive. The UAE were more clinical from 12 yards: Al Ameri, Ahmed Al Attas, Khalid Ibrahim and Hussein Abdulla all successful, with Abdullah Ghanem off target.

Maulana Septian and Saddil Ramdani missed for Indonesia as the UAE earned a 4-3 win.

But Luis Milla’s side felt the referee had played a big part in their exit.

“Today is a sad day for us. The second penalty should not have been awarded,” Indonesia goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyasa told reporters after the match.

“The second penalty was dubious because there was minimal contact,” Spanish coach Milla added.

“The referee doesn’t have any competence to officiate at the Asian Games. He is not on that level. He’s the [opponent’s] 12th player and I am sad that our players’ struggle had to end like this.”

The UAE will now move on to the quarter-finals where they will face North Korea on Monday. The winners of Saudi Arabia and Japan await in the last four.

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