Sport Club Pacifico defender poked Estudiantes players with needle
Sport Club Pacifico defender Federico Allende has caused an uproar in Argentina after revealing that he used a needle to poke the strikers of top-division club Estudiantes during Sunday's cup game.
Pacifico, who play in Argentina's fourth tier, pulled off a major upset when they won 3-2 in Sunday's round-of-32 Copa Argentina game.
Pacifico players were greeted as heroes when they returned from Buenos Aires to their home town of General Alvear in the Mendoza province.
When asked how he stopped Estudiantes strikers during the encounter in Banfield, Buenos Aires, Allende, who started for Pacifico, said he took a page out of Carlos Salvador Bilardo's book -- Bilardo was the Argentine manager who won the World Cup with Diego Maradona in 1986.
"I had to resort to the old book," he told Argentinian radio station Radio Vorterix ."The Great Bilardo. Needles!"
Bilardo was accused of having used needles to poke an opponent when he was a player in the 1960s when on the books of Estudiantes.
When asked if he had truly poked opponents, Allende said: "I promise, I killed [Juan Ferney] Otero.
"He will hate me but football is like that. You have to lose respect for opponents.
"We knew we had to make the game dirty because Estudiantes players wouldn't like that."
The Colombian striker of Estudiantes, Juan Ferney Otero, says that he had made the referee Luis Alvarez aware of Allende's actions.
He said as reported in Clarin: "Allende poked me four times, that is why I would distance myself from him. It was like a sowing needle that he had.
"I told [Estudiantes striker] Javi Toledo to be careful. Thankfully, he didn't do much damage. I told the referee several times but he didn't listen."
Allende, 26, now faces disciplinary action with his club considering expelling the player.
"We are dismayed," Pacifico president Hector Moncada said as reported in Clarin. "This incident has tarnished the team's good work.
"I will expel him from the club. It was a joke done in very poor taste.
"The coach, Andres Villafane, agrees with the decision to expel him although the final outcome will be taken jointly with the rest of the club executives."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.