Martino awaits FIFA apology after Paraguay crash out
Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino said he was expecting an apology from FIFA after seeing his side have a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside in his side's 1-0 quarter-final defeat Saturday to Spain, dpa reported.
Nelson Valdez found the net for Paraguay in the 41st minute at Johannesburg's Ellis Park Stadium Saturday, but linesman Carlos Pastrana from Honduras incorrectly raised his flag.
"We feel fine because FIFA will apologise tomorrow and everything will be alright," Martino said sarcastically, in reference to FIFA president Joseph Blatter's apology to Mexico and England after they were the victims of poor refereeing decisions in the Round of 16.
"Say thank you to FIFA for apologising to us."
David Villa netted the all-important goal for Spain in the 83rd minute but apart from Valdez's strike, Paraguay also had a goal disallowed while Iker Casillas saved Oscar Cardozo's effort for Paraguay and denied Lucas Barrios and Roque Santa Cruz late on.
The European champions missed a penalty of their own when Xabi Alonso had to retake his spot-kick.
"We weren't lucky, it wasn't our night," said Martino, who felt disappointed despite leading Paraguay to the last eight of a World Cup for the first time in the South American country's history.
"Making history was trying to be there in the last week of the world cup," he said.
"Instead Spain are in the semi-finals but I think we could have been there too." dpa gb pr Author: George Burns