Shorta boss praises Sharks

Zarqa: Al Shorta coach Tita Valeriu praised the determination shown by Chonburi as the Thai club overcame a first-leg deficit by beating his team 4-2 after extra-time to reach the semi-finals of the AFC Cup.

The Syrian side looked to be in the driver’s seat in the quarter-final after winning 2-1 in Thailand in the first leg but first half-goals by Pipob On-mo and Thiago Cunha at the Prince Mohammad International Stadium in Zarqa, Jordan turned things around for Chonburi.

Al Shorta appeared to have regained control when Oday Al Jafal’s penalty forced extra-time and Ali Ghalioum made amends for a missed penalty by putting the Syrians back in front.

But Chonburi would not lie down and Thiago scored again in the 111th minute to level things once more before hitting a dramatic winner in stoppage time to complete a 5-4 aggregate win.

After the game, Valeriu was highly critical of the attitude shown by his players, who had squandered opportunities to extend their lead in the first half before conceding a pair of soft goals.

"Our players were not up to expectation today and they showed a lack of responsibility as they were not playing seriously in the match and they underestimated our opponents," said the Romanian.

In contrast to his side, Valeriu felt that their Thai opponents approached the match in the right way.

"Chonburi played with great determination and they played good football,” he said. “They won today and they achieved what they wanted by taking the lead in the first half and then managing to find the winner at the end of the game.

"The Chonburi players secured their win because they knew what they wanted unlike our team who were not ready. Our players made a lot of mistakes which eventually has cost us the match."