Branko Ivankovic hits out at referee after Persepolis defeat

November 3, 2018 - 15:25

TEHRAN – Persepolis coach Branko Ivankovic blasted Chinese referee Ma Ning and lamented a number of decisions in his team’s defeat against Kashima Antlers of Japan.

The Iranian football team lost to Kashima 2-0 at the Kashima Stadium in the first leg of the AFC Champions League.

Leo Silva and Serginho scored two goals for the Japanese team.

 “First, I congratulate Kashima because of the win, but I think we should have won the match. Our players wasted their chances against Kashima,” Ivankoviuc said in the post-match news conference.

Ivankovic was furious at the referee’s performance in this match.

“In the first half, Kashima defender should have been shown a red card because he prevented our scoring chance. I believe that the referee’s decisions went against us,” Persepolis coach added.

The second leg will be held in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium on Nov. 10 and Ivankovic is optimistic about the home match.

“The fans act as a 12th man and I hope that we win the AFC Champions League in front of more than 80,000 fans at the Azadi Stadium. We know that we have a difficult task ahead but it’s not impossible as we’ve already shown that we can do it,” Ivankovic concluded.