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Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi slams ‘appalling’ officiating after Baroka bite back

5:38 pm AEDT 15/2/22
Manqoba Mngqithi & Rhulani Mokwena, Mamelodi Sundowns, February 2021
The Brazilians scored 4 minutes after the interval through Lakay and were headed for maximum points until Mbulu’s scorching 94th minute strike

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi was frustrated by the match officials after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Baroka FC at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Monday evening.

The late equaliser angered the Sundowns technical bench, who felt that the free-kick around the halfway line – which led to the ball being pumped forwards and then volleyed in sensationally by Mbulu - should not have been awarded.

One Sundowns official was seen angrily shouting at referee Xola Sitela as he left the field and went down the tunnel.

Speaking afterwards to SuperSport TV, Mngqithi levelled further criticism at the match official.

“Sometimes you see things that you never thought you would see. Rushine [De Reuck, Sundowns defender] and the opposition player go for a header. Rushine gets a yellow card. Rushine has to go out and stay outside, [while] the opposition player [stays] inside,” Mngqithi stated.

“That was the first incident. The next incident, AJ [Andile Jali] is fouled. The referee instead of giving us a free-kick, because that’s a foul...And the foul is the opponent's fault. It’s appalling.

“But nonetheless, they (Baroka) put a lot of pressure on us in the second half. We did not create very many chances in this game. We relied on set-pieces.”

While admitting his side were not at their best, Mngqithi reiterated Downs’ unhappiness about the equaliser:

“We deserved to win this match, but unfortunately we ended up conceding a last-minute free-kick. I don’t know if it was a free-kick or not."

Mngqithi also mentioned that the ‘referee was very poor today, very poor’, and that “in football you must accept some decisions because maybe one day they favour you and another day they favour somebody else. Today was a bit emotional.”

Baroka had earlier missed a penalty – Basil Mphahlele smashed his spot-kick over the bar after De Reuck had been penalised for a handball.

The point earned moves Masandawana up to 48 points from 21 games, a massive 18 above second-placed Orlando Pirates, who have played two matches less.