Al Wahda playmaker Valdivia under fire for disrespectful gesture
He was exceptional in feeding the ball but the forwards couldn’t capitalise and Al Wahda ended on the losing side in the Arabian Gulf League fixture at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Sunday.
“Valdivia made a slow start but I’m happy with the way he played today. He has to get to know his teammates first. He created some good moves and some of them were scoring opportunities. He will fit into the playmakers role after a few games,” felt coach Javier Aquirre.
Later, on the social media, Valdivia was in the eye of the storm after he was seen flashing disrespectful gestures to the crowd. The Chilean, however, cleared the air in a statement: “The finger signal I gave at half-time in the match between Al Wahda and Al Shabab was directed at a group of friends who had attended the match and at no one else. It is a sign that is regularly exchanged between friends in Brazil and Portugal as a joke and does not hold any negative intentions.”
Al Shabab coach Caio Junior hailed the resilience shown by his players, who after being reduced to nine men, survived Al Wahda’s onslaught for a 1-0 win. “It was very hard to play with a player less for more than 30 minutes in this harsh weather but I am happy to return with the three points. We played tactically and technically better and deserved this win,” said Junior who was, however, furious that his key player Henrique Luvannor of Brazil was given the marching orders.
Luvannor had to leave the field after he picked up his second yellow card for an altercation with centre back Hamdan Al Kamali of Al Wahda. “I watched the television replay of that incident and Hamdan should have got the red card instead. It was very clear,” said Junior.