ROONEY ‘ SORRY’ FOR DIV­ING

The Witness - Wheels - - CLASSIFIEDS -

LON­DON — Manch­ester United cap­tain Wayne Rooney apol­o­gised for the way he won the con­tro­ver­sial penalty in their 3- 1 win at third- tier Pre­ston North End in the FA Cup on Mon­day, said Pre­ston keeper Thorsten Stuck­mann.

The Eng­land striker fell af­ter hur­dling a chal­lenge by the on­rush­ing Stuck­mann and con­verted the re­sult­ing spot kick to score the fi­nal goal two min­utes from time and make sure of a quar­ter- fi­nal tie at home to hold­ers Ar­se­nal.

Re­plays showed there was no con­tact be­tween Rooney and Stuck­mann, spark­ing de­bate among pun­dits and caus­ing Eng­land manager Roy Hodg­son to de­fend na­tional team cap­tain Rooney.

Stuck­mann has now re­vealed that the 29- year- old ad­mit­ted at the time that his fall was op­por- tunis­tic. “Af­ter the game Rooney told me: ‘ Sorry, it was my chance to get a penalty. I had to use that’,” the League One side’s keeper was quoted as say­ing in the Sun news­pa­per yes­ter­day. Stuck­mann added: “I say it clear: that was no penalty. I also be­lieve that if the sit­u­a­tion had hap­pened the other way around, one of our strik­ers against the United keeper, the ref wouldn’t have given the penalty. I have no doubt about that.”

Pre­ston manager Simon Grayson de­fended the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion to award Rooney a penalty af­ter Mon­day’s de­feat, say­ing the striker had not dived de­spite there be­ing no con­tact.

“I am not say­ing it wasn’t a penalty. I’m say­ing there was no con­tact,” said Grayson. “It wasn’t a dive. He’s gone to get out of the way and taken eva­sive ac­tion.” — Reuters.

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