Watch­ing over Olaroiu

The National - News - Sport - - FOOTBALL - Os­man Sami­ud­din

Pre-game There will be more ten­sion be­tween th­ese two sides as the sea­son goes on and most of it will find Olaroiu at the cen­tre. Ahli’s vo­cal fans got their shot in early, un­furl­ing a ban­ner in sup­port of their coach. It read, sim­ply and hon­estly: “Cos­min, we trust.”

Kick-off Just as the game was about to be­gin, Olaroiu stepped out and gave his suc­ces­sor at Al Ain, the Uruguayan Jorge Fos­sati, a gra­cious bear hug. The Ai­nawi faith­ful still booed him heartily, though.

5th min Olaroiu is an in­tim­i­dat­ing pres­ence wher­ever he goes, but most of all on the edge of the tech­ni­cal area. When Radoi went in with a nasty knee­high, studs-up chal­lenge on Ab­du­laziz San­quor un­derneath Olaroiu’s nose, the coach was the first to call for a card. It war­ranted red, but got yel­low.

24 Olaroiu’s first touch of the ball, as it zipped out of play, was an in­sou­ciant slice that saw it land be­hind him in his own dug-out. Cue more boos.

52 As Ahli be­gan to dom­i­nate, a promis­ing Is­mail Al Ham­madi run was bro­ken down near the penalty area. Olaroiu be­trayed the first bit of emo­tion, nearly tear­ing his shirt off in try­ing to pull it over his head in frus­tra­tion.

66 It does not come of­ten, but he has a pretty charm­ing smile. Once the ref­eree over­turned a throwin de­ci­sion in Ahli’s favour, out it came, with a sweet dou­ble thumbs up in the of­fi­cial’s di­rec­tion as well.

Post-game cel­e­bra­tions

Hav­ing re­mained as still as the Sphinx through the shootout, Olaroiu let out a lit­tle fist pump as the last penalty was saved by Ma­jed Naser. He then went to hug all his for­mer charges, in­clud­ing a long, con­sol­ing one for Omar Ab­dul­rah­man – who had missed a penalty – be­fore join­ing his play­ers in muted cel­e­bra­tion.

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