Micho Sredojevic claims Thamsanqa Gabuza left the pitch because he was injured. Photo:  Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Micho Sredojevic claims Thamsanqa Gabuza left the pitch because he was injured. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Gabuza threw his shirt into the crowd and walked off after helping Pirates take the lead against Black Leopards during the first half on Tuesday night. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Gabuza threw his shirt into the crowd and walked off after helping Pirates take the lead against Black Leopards during the first half on Tuesday night. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Micho Sredojevic has made a vain attempt at playing down Thamsanqa Gabuza’s bizarre actions from last night’s Absa Premiership clash between Orlando Pirates and Black Leopards in Polokwane.

Speaking during the post match briefing, the Pirates coach insinuated that the much-maligned striker’s storming off the pitch after the opening goal was so he could have an injury taken care of. “That our player Gabuza went off was because prior to that he got kicked in his muscle and after the goal being scored because of that injury he left,” Sredojevic said.

The truth of the matter, however, is that Gabuza left the club’s medics on the bench and went straight to the dressing room some ten minutes before halftime and only came back for the second half, heavily strapped. Not even referee Thando Ndzandzeka would be fooled as he duly showed Gabuza two yellow cards. 

The first was for the striker’s wild and somewhat angry goal celebrations – a goal he actually did not score though it was his shot that forced Leopards defender Thivhavhudzi Ndou to deflect the ball into his own goal – that saw him storm towards the bench, take his shirt off and throwing it into the crowd. The second was for him leaving the field without the whistleman’s permission.

“However, the referee recognised, as per rules, that he went off the field without him knowing, he went he put his jersey downs so double yellow card and thus red,” acknowledged Sredojevic who had reprimanded Gabuza only for the player to storm to the dressing room in arguably the most bizarre reaction ever seen in the PSL.

Granted, Gabuza’s relationship with The Ghost has generally been a poor one. The Pirates faithful almost always give him a bad time for his knack for wasting scoring chances. But a professional player would know that the only way to shut them up is through delivering on the field. Sredejovic tried hard to spin things: “Our players have given everything, respecting the jersey, respecting the history and respecting the supporters on the field and off it.”

Not so with Gabuza last night though, and no doubt the club will take action against the player whose behaviour stole the limelight away from the club’s first win of the season. The Buccaneers scored a second goal via Vincent Pule and Leopards reduced the deficit through Joseph Mhlongo.

IOL Sport

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