First bitter disappointment in an official competition for Roberto Mancini. His Saudi Arabia’s run in the Asian Cup ends in the round of 16. Bitter elimination as the Saudi national team was defeated on penalties 4-2 by Jurgen Klinsmann’s South Korea after being caught in the 9th minute of injury time during regulation time (1-1). The Saudi national team, which among other things started among the favourites, the Italian coach then ended up at the center of a controversy for having left the field before the end of the penalties that promoted the national team of German coach Klinsmann. In fact, Mancini left before South Korea kicked the decisive penalty.
Roberto Mancini, head coach of Saudi Arabia
In the press conference the former Italian coach declared: “I apologize, I didn’t want to disrespect anyone, I thought it was over – said Mancini – I want to thank my players for what they did in this event, they have grown a lot. I’m happy and very sad at the same time. Happy because we improved a lot, we worked together for a month and this is very important. Now we are a team. Clearly we still have to grow.”