CAPE TOWN – City coach Benni McCarthy has never been one to hold back his thoughts when it comes to referees.
His latest gripe comes after his team 2-2 draw with lowly Baroka FC in a highly entertaining Premier League clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.
The Citizens took a 1-0 into half-time but five minutes after the restart they conceded a sloppy goal and then came the penalty in the 55th minute that left him confused.
Centre-back Thato Mokeke was adjudged by the referee to have handled the ball in the big box, and he can feel hard done by, it was more a case of ball to hand than hand to ball. “The penalty decisions that have gone against leaves me wondering how the rules work.
“It looks like its penalties for certain teams and no penalties for others,” he said.
“But we kept our composure and fought hard to draw level, which we did with five minutes to go, and then we went full out for the winner and went close.”
The result sees the Citizens move up a place to sixth on the 16-team table while Bakgaga remain in 14th.
The two clubs arrived in the PSL in 2016/17 and have since squared off six times, with Baroka coming out on top on three occasions, their last triumph earned at the start of the season (2-1), while City boast one win (3-0) registered in 2017.
On this occasion City let two points slip away, says McCarthy. “Yes, we deserved more than a share the spoils because we dominated the game.
“But when you fall behind against a defensive side like Baroka you are asking for trouble. Credit to my players for fighting hard again and giving it there all.
“I can’t fault this performance both on attack and defence, we were good on both fronts, but we must guard against dropping our guard at crucial times.”
City’s opening goal just before halftime is also up for debate.
Attacking forward Ayanda Patosi was credited with it but his fellow forward Siphelele Mthembu has every right to claim it, after his glancing header moments had breached the goalline - television replays showed the entire circumference of the ball was over the line.
It is a matter for Safa’s review committee to sort out as both men are in the hunt for the Golden Boot award that goes to the competition’s leading goal scorer at the conclusion of the season. Patosi’s tally would rise to five while Mthembu would move to six if given it.
City will be back in action on Wednesday hosting struggling Free State Stars (7.30pm kickoff), who picked up a rare 2-1 victory away at Maritzburg United.
Mike de Bruyn