MEXICO CITY (AP) Diego Armando Maradona’s Dorados team has lost a 4-2 match to Atletico San Luis, quashing the Argentine legend’s hopes of a championship in Mexico’s second division and prompting a confrontation with fans of the victorious team
The Dorados of Sinaloa had won the first leg of the second-division final series 1-0, but saw an initial 2-0 lead slip away on an own-goal by Diego Barbosa on Sunday.
Maradona watched the game from the stands because he’d been expelled from the first-leg game for arguing. Local news media on Monday published videos of an infuriated Maradona hurling unprintable Mexican and Argentine insults and at one point trying to punch someone, apparently while leaving the stadium in the north-central city of San Luis Potosi.
Photographs show him speaking into a walkie-talkie radio while watching the game.
The former Argentine star took over as coach in September, when the Culiacan-based team was struggling with just three points after six rounds and at the bottom of the standings.
Maradona was formally introduced Monday as the new coach of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa. He was jovial and said he didn’t come to Mexico for a vacation.
Maradona said: “I came here to work, and I came to give my heart.”
The 57-year-old has publicly struggled in the past with alcohol and drug addiction. His new club is located in a city considered the heart of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug smuggling gangs.
Maradona said “we are all judged” and added, “How many people are there here who do worse things than us and don’t end up in any newspaper?”
Club president Jose Antonio Nunez confirmed Maradona’s hiring without providing details of his contract. The club’s Twitter account also welcomed Maradona with a photo of a shouting Maradona and the team’s logo.
The club planned a formal presentation of the new coach early next week in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan.
USMNT players William Yarbrough and Miguel Ibarra are both on the Club Leon roster — Yarbrough is the No. 2 keeper while Ibarra has played sparingly as a sub — for a match with top-end implications for their side and relegation danger for the visitors.