HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shanghai SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas has said powerful Chinese rivals Guangzhou Evergrande are “dominating” the Asian Football Confederation and enjoyed the referees’ favour during their Asian Champions League quarter-final.
Nine-man SIPG reached the ACL semi-finals in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, with a 5-4 penalty shootout win after home side Guangzhou had overturned a 4-0 first leg deficit to take the game into extra-time.
Despite seeing his side advance to the last four for the first time in the club’s history, former Chelsea and Porto boss Villas-Boas rolled off a long list of grievances across both legs of the quarter-final against Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.
“In the last game Fu Huan had a very clean slide tackle which led to his suspension in this match,” Villas-Boas told reporters after the match in Guangzhou.
”Yan Junling is suspended for the first leg of the semi-final because the referee gave him a yellow card.
”The referee chose the end of the Guangzhou fans to take the penalties. The referee gives two red cards to our players.
”Zhang Linpeng should be suspended from this game because he used his elbow in the first game and he’s not suspended because the committee of ethics and discipline at AFC did not judge an elbow as violent conduct.
“This is the greatest achievement for SIPG ever because it’s against a club that is dominating the AFC.”
The AFC and Guangzhou did not provide comment when contacted by Reuters.
Villas-Boas went as far as to say the southern China side had engineered multiple car accidents in front of the SIPG team bus as it drove to Tianhe Stadium.
“We come here on the bus for this game and the same two cars separately had three accidents in front of us. This is the problem,” he said.
”This club can do everything, they can cause accidents in front of us, they have players who can elbow Elkeson and not be suspended and yet we won.
”The referee gave our goalkeeper a yellow card during the penalties and this is a disgrace. It’s a disgrace.
“This is the biggest victory for SIPG and for these players, who gave everything until the end.”
SIPG lost in the quarter-finals of last year’s competition but will face one of Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds or Kawasaki Frontale for a place in the final.
For Guangzhou’s part, Scolari also queried the officials’ performance on Tuesday.
“Our skipper (Zheng Zhi) was shown a red card in the World Cup qualifier but the same scenario happened today involving a SIPG player but he only got a yellow card,” said the Brazilian.
”Can anyone here tell me why?
“This comment is not against SIPG, this is not their problem. On the contrary, I congratulate them. I hope Chinese fans will cheer for them too and hope they can advance further in the Asian Champions League.”
Guangzhou, who won the ACL in 2013 and 2015, remain on course to claim the Chinese Super League title for a seventh straight season.
Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Ian Ransom