Coach Maradona stays mum after opening win

Dubai: Diego Maradona dedicated victory to the mothers of Argentina after his team Al Wasl made a winning start to their league season with a 3-0 win over Sharjah on Sunday.

Victory in the final first-round match of the 12-team United Arab Emirates professional league was secured thanks to a hat-trick by one of Maradona`s recent signings, Uruguayan striker Juan Olivera.

The 50-year-old former Argentina World Cup-winning captain, in his first coaching assignment since parting company with his national team following last year`s World Cup, spent most of the match prowling his technical area.

Dressed in a black team polo shirt and black shorts, Maradona punched the air each time his side scored, hugged his coaching staff and even kissed Olivera on top of his head as the pair celebrated the third goal.

"I dedicate this win to my mother and my daughter, who`s also a mother, and all the mothers in Argentina," Maradona told reporters.

"The win came from excellent performances from the players.”

"I didn`t tell my mother when we lost 5-0 to Dubai (in their last match) but I`m happy to share the score with her today."

The match was a scrappy affair lacking quality and not helped by the energy-sapping humidity that is a feature of early and late-season matches in the UAE.

Olivera`s first goal came from the penalty spot on 15 minutes after he was adjudged to have been fouled while competing for a cross.

The tall striker`s second on 54 minutes was a tap-in set up by Argentine playmaker Mariano Donda and he completed his hat-trick 20 minutes from time, running on to a flick-on by the third foreign player in Maradona`s squad, Chilean winger Edson Puch.

Bureau Report

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