DURBAN – Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy pulled no punches when discussing the match officiating after his team lost 1-0 to AmaZulu in Umlazi on Saturday night.
The Citizens wasted a number of excellent chances in a match which they dominated proceedings, with Kermit Erasmus also having a fifth-minute penalty saved by Siyabonga Mbatha.
Even AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson admitted his side were very fortunate to claim all three points.
"I thought we stole the game, you have to be honest sometimes. Benni's got a good team, plays a good game of football. We were a bit nervy and weren't able to play our game," he said.
Both teams were guilty of some nasty challenges in a 15-minute period after halftime at the King Zwelithini Stadium, with City winger Craig Martin on the receiving end of a particularly bad tackle by Tapelo Nyongo, who a few minutes later, went on the score the winner with a well-taken free-kick.
Nyongo admitted after the match that his challenge had been a form of retribution after the Usuthu skipper felt he had been himself fouled a few moments earlier, although he did add that he was pleased to see that no serious damage had been done to Martin.
That wasn't any consolation for McCarthy though, who to be fair, has regularly seen his players on the wrong end of reckless tackles this season.
"You can't give life-threatening tackles to players. Every single match I'm one player short through injury," said the former Bafana Bafana striker.
"Players just get warnings. When do [the match officials] want to take action - when a player can't kick the ball anymore? The f***ing players get yellow cards for it. I'm getting sick and tired.
"Nyongo scored the goal, fantastic free-kick, but he shouldn't have been on the pitch because he could have broken Craig's leg, and then that’s his career finished. It's every single week, the same," McCarthy continued.
"When a coach speaks out then you get called to the arbitration, then you have to pay fines. I see the Black Leopards coach (Dylan Kerr), has to pay a fine, just for asking that the referees be a little more consistent to protect players more. It's tough…when you lose its worse!"
African News Agency (ANA)