Copa America 2016

Klinsmann fumes at 'joke' red card

SEATTLE • Jurgen Klinsmann lashed out at Copa America Centenario officiating on Thursday, branding the dismissal of Jermaine Jones in the United States' win over Ecuador as "disgraceful".

The US coach was left counting the cost of a deserved 2-1 quarter-final victory at Seattle after goals from Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes set up the win.

Dempsey had scored his third goal in as many games for the US before setting up a second for Zardes.

Jones' red card for an off-the-ball scuffle with Antonio Valencia in the 51st minute means he will miss next Tuesday's semi-final against either Argentina or Venezuela.

Klinsmann was incensed by the dismissal of his key midfielder, who had barely touched Valencia.

"Unfortunately we lost Jermaine for that incident which is an absolute joke," the German said. "I was right there. The fourth official made the decision, not the referee, he didn't see it. He followed the decision of the fourth official. It's a disgrace, a decision like that."

Klinsmann said the US would miss Alejandro Bedoya and Bobby Wood, who are suspended after they picked up cautions.

"We're going to miss them in the semi-finals," he said. "Not easy, but they're a team that have so much desire to grind it out. What they did tonight was outstanding."

Earlier, football legend Pele defended the sacked Dunga after Brazil's group-stage exit.

"Dunga is not at all to blame because he did not have time to put together a team," the three-time World Cup winner said. "The team lost. That happens in football."

Pele hailed replacement coach Tite, 55, as a "reliable" pair of hands for the demoralised national team.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 18, 2016, with the headline 'Klinsmann fumes at 'joke' red card'. Print Edition | Subscribe