Cape Town – Triumphant Stuart Baxter sympathised with Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids after Kaizer Chiefs won the much-anticipated Soweto Derby encounter 2-1 thanks to a late second-half penalty at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Baxter said he was mindful that the Pirates camp would be hurting after their fate was decided by a stoppage-time penalty. He decided on making small talk when he stepped up to shake hands with Davids pitchside at the end of the match. Baxter decided to sound sympathetic and remark on the validity of the dreaded penalty.
"I don't rub people's noses in it (the penalty), so I needed to be politically correct," said Baxter when he faced the media at the post-match presser. He was asked about his pitchside chat with Davids.
"I said (to Davids) these refereeing decisions can go both ways.
"I was not apologising for anything. It is not in my nature to apologise for winning.
“I did say that decisions go either way, as we know. Well done, it was a good performance.
🚨#DStvPrem Soweto Derby Reactions— Front Runner (@FrunSports) November 7, 2021
🗣️"Even when we got the equalizer, we were the only team really going for the winner & in the end, you saw what happened..." - Fadlu Davids
📹Full presser: https://t.co/cD1LQgwo2b#DStvPrem #SowetoDerby #BabizeBonke pic.twitter.com/4bmuHV2qD4
"I added ‘you [Fadlu] and Mandla are doing a good job’. That is what I said in our conversation."
Meanwhile, Davids had faced the media ahead of Baxter's appearance. The crestfallen Davids appeared to have taken some comfort from Baxter's spontaneous comments and relayed the details of their impromptu chat.
“Coach Stuart Baxter came to me afterwards and apologised for the penalty,” said Davids.
“He also apologised for us not getting a penalty in the first half. That you the story [that we were hard done by].
“We were the dominant team from start to finish. You must use this dominance to be able to score the goals when you are on top. The better side lost today.”
Towards the end of the match, Baxter admitted he was settling for a stalemate.
"I was starting to think whether is this game going to be one of those where we thought we did well, but we missed chances," said Baxter. "At times we gave away the ball and messed up in other areas.
"However, we came back and got ourselves the penalty. I think the win was well deserved."
Davids said Pirates dominated the match and the post-match statistics confirms that. Pirates enjoyed an overwhelming 65% possession and won the corner count 6-3
"I think we enjoyed total dominance from the first-half to the end of the match," said Davids.
"On top of that, we were gifting the opposition goals, if you look at it. We gifted them the first goal. The second goal, if it is a penalty, it is questionable."
The result takes Chiefs to fifth place on the standings and for the first time this season, are above Pirates who find themselves one point adrift in seventh place.undefined
The international break kicks in on Monday, and Premiership action continues on 20 November when Pirates host Golden Arrows.
The following day, Chiefs travel away to go up against their former coach Ernst Middendorp, nowadays the mentor of Maritzburg United.