Golden Arrows coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi has called Pretoria Callies coach Kwanele Kopo a “cry baby”, saying he was always complaining even when he was coaching SuperSport United’s DStv Diski Challenge.

Kopo said after his side’s 2-1 extra-time defeat in the Nedbank Cup last-32 at Princess Magogo Stadium that he would not sleep peacefully at night following referee Thabo Mkhabela handling of the game.

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Knox Mutizwa scored a blinding free-kick from range late in the game to seal Arrows’ progress to the round of the 16 for the first time since the 2018/19 season.

That free-kick, according to Kopo, did not exist, adding that if things don’t improve when it comes to refereeing, he will be forced to quit the coaching industry because it is bad.

However, Vilakazi heard all that, as he was standing meters away, waiting for Kopo to finish his overall assessment of the game to the media in the mix zone.

“I heard their coach saying Arrows must not sleep after this performance, I’m surprised. I don’t know what analysis is. They were up front [when they had a lead], they had a penalty which is something we cannot do anything about,” said Vilakazi to iDiski times.

“It’s a penalty, it’s a penalty and we also got the penalty through Ryan Moon, but we are not crying like babies [because we didn’t get it]. And I’ve heard their coach comparing himself with the PSL coaches and stuff like that of which he is not playing in the PSL, I think he should have taken the positive out of this and go and implement into his league he plays in.

“I have known Kopo since I was coaching the development in the DStv Diski and he has always been like this, always putting his focus on the referees, in the way that he ends up losing focus on coaching his players.

“But it is fine, it’s water under the bridge, but we are not discouraged by whatever that he said. We have had incidents where we felt referees have done us badly, but we can’t be cry babies.”

Siyabonga Mbatha finally made his Arrows debut after two years in the Ke Yona Cup in the Ke Yona win. Mbatha’s last appearance was with Usuthu on the 20 December 2020 against Chippa United in the 2020/21 season.

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The former AmaZulu goalkeeper, who was signed at the beginning of last season, did not play a single match last term as Sifiso Mlungwana and Nkosi Gumede were guarding the goal post.

However, Mbatha was beaten through the penalty, slotted home by Siyabonga Dubula. But otherwise his display was impressive and led to Vilakazi to say he will start in the match against Kaizer Chiefs at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

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