'Dirty tricks' anger coach

Sports | 14 Sep 2017

Andre Villas-Boas accused Guangzhou Evergrande of dirty tricks after Shanghai SIPG's epic AFC Champions League quarter-final win, claiming the hosts masterminded a series of road "accidents" to delay their rivals' arrival at the stadium.

Evergrande almost pulled off a miracle in overturning a 4-0 first-leg deficit, before SIPG emerged from a remarkable all-Chinese encounter with a 5-4 penalty shootout triumph after the tie had finished 5-5 on aggregate.

It is the first time that SIPG have reached the last four of Asia's premier club competition, but manager Villas- Boas was seething afterwards. The Portuguese lashed out at Iranian referee Alireza Faghani, who sent off two SIPG players in extra time, but reserved his fiercest ire for two-time Champions League winners Evergrande.

Video footage posted online, apparently shot from the SIPG team coach on the way to the game, appears to show a succession of five obstructions on the road involving the same cars.

"We came in the bus for this game. The same two cars suffered three accidents in front of us so this is a problem," Villas-Boas said.

"This is the greatest achievement for SIPG ever because it looks like one club is dominating the AFC because this club can do everything. They can block hotels, cause people to have accidents in front of us."

Evergrande did not immediately comment on the claims.

In the footage, the road is blocked on five occasions as two or three silver- colored cars stop after supposed collisions, though it was not clear if they ever made contact.

Some Guangzhou fans and media countered that SIPG had started the unsavory gamesmanship during the tie's first leg. Following SIPG's 4-0 rout last month in Shanghai, Evergrande coach Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed the air conditioning in the away changing room had been broken, describing it as "like a sauna." SIPG reportedly experienced the same at Tianhe Stadium on Tuesday.

SIPG will face either Kawasaki Frontale or Urawa Reds of Japan in the last four.


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