News Live Scores
Gimnasia La Plata

'My soul hurts' - Maradona rues defeat to Racing in Gimnasia debut

21:11 SAST 2019/09/15
Diego Maradona - cropped
The Argentina legend was making his return to management in the country but his first game ended in a loss to the champions

Diego Maradona believed his Gimnasia team was the superior side in their 2-1 defeat to Argentina champions Racing Club, as he lamented his "soul hurt" after their inability to find an equaliser in his coaching debut at the club.

The 58-year-old was appointed by the Superliga strugglers on September 5 following a short spell out of the game for health reasons.

It is the Argentina legend's first job in his homeland since leaving the national team in 2010 and he vowed to save Gimnasia's season when taking over.

But reigning champions Racing, who Maradona coached briefly over two decades ago, added to his new side's woes on Sunday with a narrow victory at Estadio Juan Carmelo Zerillo.

Ariel Matias Garcia cancelled out Diego Gonzalez's first-half goal to give Maradona's men hope of claiming a point, only for Matias Zaracho to swiftly restore the visitors' lead in the 54th minute.

A deflated Maradona insisted his side were good value for at least a point.

"We didn't stop looking for the equaliser. These things happen in football and you have to turn the page," he said.

"My soul hurts because I don't think the champions of Argentina were better than us. At no time were they better than us.

"But they have quality players who keep the ball and you can't get it, you have to run twice as much."

Gimnasia have now lost five and drawn one of their opening six matches and remain bottom of the table.

Maradona, who won the World Cup as Argentina captain in 1986, arrives at the club in his latest stop in a nomadic managerial career.

He had a spell as head coach at Racing Club in 1995, but an unsuccessful tenure saw him take a break from the game before returning as national team manager in 2008. He took the Albiceleste to the 2010 World Cup but was sacked after a troubled campaign in South Africa.

Since then he has taken a number of smaller profile jobs, most recently in the Mexican Second Division with Dorados.

He left that club in June, for health reasons, but was tempted back by Gimnasia earlier in September.

Maradona's team face Tallares Cordoba on September 23 before a game with River Plate, fierce rivals of Boca Juniors, where he spent two spells as a player, on the 28th.