REAL MADRID 4 - KASHIMA 2
Masatada Ishii: "The referee wasn't brave enough"
Kashima Antlers' coach said after today's final: "Maybe the referee, at a certain moment of the game wasn't sufficiently brave enough, and that's a shame".
Post-match press conference
Kashima Antlers' coach Masatada Ishii said after today's Club World Cup final defeat to Real Madrid that Zambian match official Janny Sikazwe should have sent Sergio Ramos off for a second bookable offence when the score stood at 2-2 but failed to do so because he was afraid to.
Small details, the difference
"We created problems for Real Madrid, but these kinds of games are settled by small differences - the decisions which the players or the coaches make", Ishii told reporters in the post-match press conference following the 4-2 defeat to Madrid in a game which was taken to extra-time.
"Right from the very start of the game, my players showed bravery and played to the best of their ability. But maybe the referee, at a certain moment of the game wasn't sufficiently brave enough, and that's a shame".
An example to all small clubs
When asked whether he was referring to the incident involving Sergio Ramos, who halted an Antlers counter attack with a tactical foul on Mu Kanazaki, Ishii replied that he didn't want to "go into any more detail". The incident caused a heated debate on social media as Sikazwe was seen rummaging around in his top pocket for his notebook and yellow card but then seemed to register that the Madrid captain was already on one booking and changed his mind.
Ishii ended by praising his team who "in a short period of time have reached world class level. I hope the example which Kashima has set serves to encourage other small teams in other parts of the world".
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