SA U23 head coach David Notoane says the controversial penalty decision was the main turning point in their 3-0 semi-final defeat by Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium on Tuesday night.
The result means the hosts qualify for the final of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, while SA have to win their 3rd/4th place playoff match against Ghana on Friday to book the last ticket to next year’s Olympic Games.
But it was the Senegalese referee Daouda Gueye’S decision to award The Pharaohs a penalty in the second half – with the scoreboard goalless at the time, which was converted by Ramadan Sobhi, that left Notoane felt hard done by.
“We saw what happened in the 59th minute, okay I don’t know but I had a look at it, and we all know and we all saw it, it has nothing to do with Egypt. It’s a big tournament hey, someone mentioned VAR (video assistant referee) and when will we bring VAR, but it has nothing to do with Egypt… but it’s bad for football.
“I have it (the incident) here on my phone it is outside the box but I don’t want to spoil the occasion for Egypt and of course 80th minute a goal and look foul on my player on the white line but okay we get nothing, it’s okay.
“It’s football we take it we move forward and congratulations to the players for a fantastic game but yah the man of the match we all know,” added Notoane, clearly referring to the referee.
The 3rd/4th play-off match between SA and Ghana will take place at 16:30 SA time.
Egypt will take on Ivory Coast in the final at the Cairo Stadium on Friday at 20:00. Both nations in the decider have already qualified for the Olympic games.
By Ofhani Munyai