Azkals winger Misagh Bahadoran calls unjustified late foul that led to free kick and extra-time sending goal by Myanmar
Misagh Bahadoran tries to extricate himself from four Myanmar defenders during the final of the Peace Cup Saturday night. Jerome Ascano

PHILIPPINE men’s football team winger Misagh Bahadoran insisted the crucial foul he committed late in regulation of the Azkals’ 3-2 loss to Myanmar in the Peace Cup final on Saturday was unjustified.

The Filipino booters were protecting a 2-1 lead and on the verge of a hat-trick of titles in the annual pocket tournament when Bahadoran apparently fouled a Myanmar opponent when the match was about to head to stoppage time.

That awarded the Burmese a free kick from the left side, leading to a stunning header by substitute Min Min Thu that leveled the count and sent the game into extra time, where they scored the go-ahead goal to frustrate the Filipinos.

But Bahadoran insisted it was not a foul.

“I don’t know if you watched the replay, maybe you’ll see I didn’t do anything,” the 27-year-old booter said. “It was sad.”

“In my opinion, I just blocked the guy,” Bahadoran added. “The referee was so close to me. I didn’t touch the guy, but they called foul

Still, the Filipino-Iranian winger, who traces his Filipino roots to Mabalacat, Pampanga, had a tinge of regret following the costly incident.

“Of course, I regret it after,” he said. “But as a player, I have to block the player not to cross, but suddenly, the referee calls it.” 

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