A sombre-looking Josef Zinnbauer on Sunday evening lamented a wet pitch and poor officiating as he attempted to explain Orlando Pirates’ 1-1 draw against Soweto rivals Swallows in a DStv Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium.
Referees have stolen the show over the years with their poor officiating with several Premier Soccer League (PSL) coaches being dragged to the Disciplinary Committee for voicing their dissatisfaction at the poor way their matches have been handled.
The Soweto derby encounter was contested on a waterlogged pitch in the first stanza, making life difficult for the players. But both teams managed to find the back of the net late in the game, Pirates through Ben Motshwari and Swallows via a Kamohelo Mahlatsi strike.
Zinnbauer was however left frustrated by the match officials as he believes there was a penalty that should have been awarded to his team.
The German coach pointed to what looked like a clear penalty when Fortune Makaringe was brought down in the box by Sandile Mthethwa. But referee Jelly Chavani was not interested, instead cautioning the Pirates star for simulation.
“Clear penalty. Then Deon Hotto in the last five minutes. Never, never offside. Then we had another chance for Hotto. It was also unlucky. The weather. He was sliding,” said Zinnbauer.
“The first half was a problem with the field. It’s very wet and it’s not easy for the players. We normally want more possession when we play at home. With this weather, it’s not possible. The ball was stopping on the pitch.
“The weather is not normal. It was not normal. You have to adapt to this field. I don’t know how many times in the season you have such a field. I think it’s not a lot of times.
“You have to adapt to this and then you can score. We scored first but we didn’t defend enough in this moment and you give the points up,” he concluded.
With the draw, Swallows, who consolidated their unbeaten record this season remain second on the log standings, two points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, while Pirates dropped sixth on the standings.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Orlando Pirates