Thiyab Awana blasted for outrageous backheel goal
United Arab Emirates winger Thiyab Awana has become an internet hit for scoring an audacious backheeled penalty for his country in a 7-2 victory over Lebanon.
But despite the convincing scoreline and the excitement around the goal, Awana has drawn criticism for the ‘disrespectful’ goal – including from his own coach.
The hosts were already leading 6-2 when Awana tucked away the spot-kick, but coach Srecko Katanec, who had only brought Awana on three minutes before, substituted him immediately afterwards.
“This penalty, I didn’t like it. We must respect players from other teams. In future you don’t know what football will give you back,” Katanec said after the game.
“He’s a young guy and he knew he made a mistake immediately. I just want him to show respect, not just on the field but off it as well.”
A Lebanese team official saw red after a furious reaction to the penalty, but Lebanon coach Emile Rustom tried to defuse the incident afterwards.
“I didn’t feel it was an insult and this is my attitude,” Rustom said.
“This is a personal decision the player made and it has nothing to do with the way the UAE plays its football.”