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banner Tuesday, 5 February, 2002, 15:32 GMT
Lua-Lua blames referee for defeat
DR Congo team
DR Congo fought to the last
DR Congo striker Lomana Tresor Lua-Lua says the team's 2-0 defeat to Senegal should be blamed on referee Domenico Messina.

"The referee was an absolute shambles because he's the one who killed our game," he fumed.

Messina took several controversial decisions during the game, and twice found himself at the centre of a brawl of players, one late in the game after issuing the tournament's first red card to Alexis Tekumu for a bad tackle.

But he also dismissed DR Congo's appeals for a penalty and ruled Senegal's Soulymane Camara onside for the second goal, when replays suggested he was definitely ahead of the last defender.

Both decisions were late in the game and killed DR Congo's chances of getting back into the match.

"We had a lot of fouls which the referee didn't give and there was a penalty right in front of him but he just let the game go on," Lua-Lua complained.

And he criticised the attitude of the Senegal players in the match.

"Sometimes they fell over without being touched, screamed and the referee just gave the foul to them," he said.

"I didn't think Senegal were anything special, I'm surprised they got to the World Cup playing like that and I think we outplayed them."

"Sometimes you can't really do anything. We're happy to have got to the quarter-finals, we think we could have got to the semi-finals but really the referee ruined it for us."

See also:

04 Feb 02 |  Cup of Nations
Dakar Lions beat brave Simbas
04 Feb 02 |  Cup of Nations
Clockwatch: Nigeria 1-0 Mali
28 Jan 02 |  Football
The BBC in Mali
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