Sports

Aug 052016
 
An unfortunate bobble contributed to Maribor’s late winner

Aberdeen were left to rue a missed penalty, refereeing decisions and an own goal as they were knocked out of the Europa League by NK Maribor.

Adam Rooney’s spot-kick was saved, but if the advantage had been played Niall McGinn’s netted shot after the foul on Rooney would have opened the scoring.

Dons substitute Jayden Stockley was booked twice for use of his elbows.

And, in added time, Graeme Shinnie’s pass-back to Joe Lewis bobbled over the keeper’s foot and ran into the net.

The tie was played against a backdrop of mourning, after two players from Maribor’s B team – Damjan Marjanovic and Zoran Baljak – died in a car crash earlier in the week.

A minute’s silence before kick-off and black armbands were symbols of the sense of grief that had gripped the Slovenian club, and there was empathy from Aberdeen’s players and staff, with manager Derek McInnes and captain Ryan Jack laying a wreath earlier in the day.

Aberdeen’s task was straightforward – to score after conceding an away goal in the 1-1 draw at Pittodrie last week.

Rooney’s tame penalty was blocked by Handanovic

They travelled to Slovenia with a sense of purpose and confidence, though, having created a series of chances in the home leg and played with command and authority.

The loss of first-leg scorer Jonny Hayes to injury was a setback but his replacement Wes Burns brought drive and directness to the team, qualities which contributed to the conservatism that shaped Maribor’s play.

The home side could afford to play for a 0-0 draw, but they ought to have found themselves chasing the game by half-time.

A reckless pass-back by Marko Suler was intercepted by Rooney and his ankles were caught by Handanovic’s studs.

The referee opted for a yellow rather than a red card for the goalkeeper, but also ruled out McGinn’s finish to award the spot-kick instead.

Rooney, normally so fierce with his finishing from the spot, tried to dink the ball down the centre of goal, allowing Handanovic to kick the ball away.

There were other efforts – Burns and Shinnie both shot straight at Handanovic – but Aberdeen were most frustrated by the officials.

Even before Burns’ second-half replacement Stockley had received his two bookings, Erik Janza was only shown a yellow card despite appearing to have thrown a punch at Ryan Jack.

Stockley (second from right) was only on the field for 12 minutes

The home side had started the second half with more assertive play, and threatened when their scorer in the first leg, Milivoje Novakovic, spun and shot on target only for Lewis to push the ball away.

Aberdeen would still have felt they were the dominant side, but Stockley’s dismissal limited their options and it became an agonising assignment for the visitors as time ran out on their European ambitions, Shinnie credited with the own goal that came seconds before the final whistle.

Derek McInnes’ men – Scottish Premiership runners-up two years running – bow out of the Europa League at the third qualifying round for the third successive season, with their domestic campaign beginning at St Johnstone’s McDiarmid Park on Sunday.

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Diafra Sakho has made four international appearances for Senegal

West Brom’s £15m move for West Ham striker Diafra Sakho is off because the player has a back problem.

It is understood the Senegalese did not fail his medical but he would not have been fit for the start of the season.

Sakho, 26, scored 15 league goals in 44 appearances for West Ham, although he has suffered several injury problems.

His likely arrival had added to speculation that the club would sell striker Saido Berahino, 23, who is a target for Crystal Palace and Stoke.

The Potters have offered £17m with £3m in add-ons for the England Under-21 international – a fee which is close to West Brom’s valuation of the striker.

However, with the Sakho deal now off, Berahino will be remaining at the club.

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Schweinsteiger retired from international football after Euro 2016

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho should be sent to jail for “bullying” Bastian Schweinsteiger, claims a member of world players’ union FifPro.

The midfielder, 32, signed a three-year deal in 2015 and played 31 games last term but has trained alone and with the Under-23s since Mourinho took over.

“It’s clear bullying,” Slovenia FifPro member Dejan Stefanovic told the BBC.

“In Slovenia, we would have indicted Mourinho and asked for the highest penalty – three years in prison.”

Mourinho has yet to talk about Schweinsteiger’s future but is due to hold a press conference on Friday to preview Sunday’s Community Shield against Premier League champions Leicester City.

BBC Sport has contacted United for comment but is yet to receive a reply.

Speaking to BBC World Service Sport, lawyer Stefanovic, who is also president of the Slovenian Footballers and Sportsmen Union, added: “This is clearly meant to discourage Bastian.

“Mourinho is setting a bad example. I would take it to the ordinary court. In our case, the penal code is quite clear. If there is bullying and harassment, there’s a prison sanction, a maximum of three years in prison.

“Schweinsteiger should turn to the Professional Footballers’ Association and he should file a complaint and I would also seek penalty for Mourinho.

“All the players of the first team have to train with the coaches of the first team at the same place, at the same time as all other team-mates.

“That’s something that should be applied to each and every club and should be written within Fifa regulations.”

Schweinsteiger, who has made 120 appearances for Germany, joined United from Bayern Munich.

He was left out of Mourinho’s 25-man squad for last weekend’s 5-2 friendly win over Galatasaray in Gothenburg and was not part of the 22 for Wayne Rooney’s testimonial with Everton on Wednesday.

Schweinsteiger’s brother, Toby, who is assistant manager of Bayern Munich’s Under-17s team, sent a tweet