Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi has questioned the referee after his side’s 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 semi-final second leg.

The Buccaneers eliminated the defending champions from the competition thanks an early goal by Kermit Erasmus and a brace by Monnapule Saleng.

Mngqithi, though, insisted that had the referee not given the first goal, it would’ve been a completely different games, while insisting the official continuously made small calls for their opponents.

“The truth of the matter is, we are objectively looking at situations, we’re not piggybacking on situations that are not there, we’re looking at direct situations that in laws of the game is clear, if a player celebrates and takes off his shirt, it’s a bookable offence,” Mngqithi after the match.

“And if in a game of this magnitude, that’s not a questionable offence then it’s something else, but the truth is, we’re not vindictive and looking with an eye of what you need in the past, we’re looking at what’s happening in the game and for the players to complain when they see something wrong?

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong there, because when it’s a small foul for us, we don’t get it, but when it’s a small four for the other guys it’s there all the time and worse, in a moment when we win possession, we have an advantage with Marcelo [Allende] on the ball. Marcelo is on the ball outside the 18 area, anything can happen then the referee takes you back there, surely that’s having a 12th defender there.

“Who does not want to see the game progressing because it’s our foul. If we fouled then we’ll understand, but Marcelo was on the ball, we are having a direct advantage to goal, then the referee says no come back you were fouled here…. those are the situations i’m talking about, not offline, things that happened in the match.

“If referees came into press conferences like this to answer what the law says in a situation like this, then you would understand if the coaches are mad or what, this is our bread and butter, this is what we live on.

“We prepare teams so we can come and compete fairly, but if the referee instead of administering the games are making sure the other team loses all the advantages they have, then we have to complain. If you are telling me from a tactical perspective, if Pirates doesn’t score that goal so early, which wasn’t a goal because the ball was outside, then Pirates would have to dig deeper.

“We can complain about everything else that happened but we also have a responsivity to score goals so that our complaining is a little bit valid. Not when you lose 3-0, nobody understands why it went so far as 3-0.”


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