WHO would be satisfied without 'Happiness' in a team?
Yadanarbon coach Kyi Naiing rued the absence of one of his two foreign players in Okpechi Happiness in the Maynmar side’s 4-1 loss to Global FC in the Asian Football Confederation Cup on Wednesday night at the Philippine Stadium.
The Nigerian defender missed the match due to visa woes that caused him to be barred from entering the country on Monday night.
“It was an unfair result for our team,” Naiing said through an interpreter. “It was very difficult for our team.”
Only Ivorian midfielder Djedje Djawa bolstered the 17-man visiting squad.
But Global coach Leigh Manson felt it would’ve hardly mattered had Happiness suited up and defended the likes of Misagh Bahadoran, who caused plenty of headaches and scored a goal in the second half.
“From the game we played, Happiness was strong in the air, but I don’t think he would’ve had much joy dealing with Misagh’s pace,” the Scottish mentor said.
“We were prepared to play against Happiness or anyone else,” he added. “I think we would’ve still got the result.”
Manson, though, believes Happiness would’ve made a difference if Global’s chances were from aerial balls.
“If we’d scored a lot of heady goals from aerial balls, then, okay, maybe.”
“But would Happiness have stopped Renato’s free kick? Would he have stopped Misagh breaking out the park? Would he have stopped Mark’s penalty? I don’t think he would’ve stopped any of them,” he was quick to add.
“Perhaps it affected them because they lost a centerback,” Manson continued, saying Global also played without a standout centerback in Amani Aguinaldo in their first meeting last month, when pint-sized wing-back Jerry Barbaso stood in.
“We didn’t have Amani, Jerry played centerback. So that’s football. It happens.”
Global also fielded just 13 players in their first encounter in Myanmar.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to put almost a full team out,” said the Scot, who had 17 players at his disposal on Wednesday night.