Johannesburg – Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques blasted referee Victor Gomes after the Birds' 3-2 Premiership loss to Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.
Gomes infuriated Marques by adding seven additional minutes at the end of the second half, with Marques crying foul.
Swallows looked to have done enough to claim a point, after coming from behind twice in the match, but Lehlohonolo Majoro scored in the seventh minute of added time to claim maximum points for Chiefs.
“We never lost this game, the game was stolen away from us,” Marques said after the match.
“Unfortunately when you have both teams playing their hearts out and you have somebody who decides who the winner is going to be, it's very disheartening.”
Marques added, not only did the referee allow for too much time, but also played nine instead of the stated seven minutes.
“I’m still trying to work out where the nine minutes came from,” Marques said.
“I can understand the last two. But where did the seven minutes come from?
“It is just very sad, very sad. I don’t want to have a go at referees. I have never done that and it is not my style, but I’m starting to see a certain pattern with the referee.”
Swallows were trailing behind within 10 minutes after Reneilwe Letsholonyane scored his first league goal of the season.
The visitors equalised through Lerato Chabangu, before Letsholonyane scored again to give Chiefs a 2-1 lead at half-time.
Swallows' Bennett Chenene equalised for a second time with half-an-hour left to play, but the visitors were denied by Majoro, who scored his seventh league goal.
Swallows are now seventh in the Premiership standings, winless in their last four league encounters, while Chiefs are unbeaten in 11 fixtures this season, having now won three on the trot.
Amakhosi boss Stuart Baxter sympathised with his managerial counterpart, admitting that some decisions puzzled the former Bafana Bafana mentor.
“I know what Zeca is alluding to with his comments and I think there were some strange decisions all the way through the game,” Baxter said.
Baxter, however, praised his side for their efforts, particularly after a poor defensive effort let the team down during the second half, where the back four appeared to have let in a soft equaliser.
“I thought we played very well at times in the first half,” he said.
“Swallows came back and they gave us all the trouble we could handle.
“I don't think we defended very well, but it must have been a fantastic game for the supporters.
“The players did a fantastic job of keeping their nerve and they kept battling away.”
In Tuesday's other results, Chippa United beat Platinum Stars 2-1 in Cape Town, while Maritzburg United held SuperSport United to a goalless draw at the Harry Gwala Stadium, with Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town also ending scoreless. – Sapa