Cork City manager John Caulfield has vented his frustration against French referee Francois Letexier after his side’s 1-0 defeat to AEK Larnaca in Ireland last week.
Caulfield is set to take his side to Cyprus where a hot and hostile reception awaits his players at the AEK Arena. They trail 1-0 on aggregate but are not out of the contest yet with a third qualifying round tie against either Rabotnicki or Dinamo Minsk lying in wait for the winner.
“I suppose the frustrating about tonight [Thursday night] was that it’s part of our game that diving and stuff has become the norm,” said Caulfield, who also believed that City striker Sean Maguire was too honest when staying on his feet despite seemingly being fouled in the box while the home side pressed for an equaliser late in the game.
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“The referee could have stamped it out early on but he just didn’t, he left it go. It was so frustrating. Their physio didn’t come on the pitch once and I think they went down 18 times. I asked the referee observer afterwards and he said ‘they were intelligent, they played the game’. But that’s not playing the game. That’s wrong.”
A second half strike from Truyol had settled the game at Turner’s Cross with AEK missing further chances to score through Florian Taulemesse, Ivan Trickovski and Jorge Larena.