ABU DHABI – Diego Maradona's first match in charge of UAE club Al Wasl ended in with a 4-3 loss to league champion Al Jazira on Thursday after his team gave up the deciding goal in stoppage time.
Al Wasl, which lost 4-0 to Al Jazira on the day Maradona's signing was announced in mid-May, rallied to tie after trailing 3-1 at halftime. All three goals for Al Wasl were scored by Argentine Mariano Donda, a recent signing by Maradona.
Brazilian striker Bare headed Al Jazira's late winner at the Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium.
It was a vintage performance, though, from Maradona. The man with two watches showed intense emotions on the sideline, throwing his hands up and arguing with officials when things went wrong for his team. He let out a protracted cry when Donda scored his second goal.
Maradona pleased the crowd by juggling with a ball, and then blamed organizers for arriving late for his news conference.
Delighted with his team's effort, especially the way the club fought back in the second half, Maradona said, ''I thank my players because they did very well. They fought to a man in the field, and in the end I am very happy with them.
''The second half, my team was the only one on the pitch. There was no one against us. The players did their best and the result should have been 3-3.''
Unhappy, though, with some of the refereeing decisions, the former World Cup winner believed that Ricardo Oliveira was offside for Al Jazira's third goal.
''There is a penalty we should have had, which we didn't get,'' he said. ''And they had a goal they shouldn't have. But as I said, in the second half, Jazira were not on the field.''