It has taken four-and-a-half weeks into his first Premiership season for Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy to bemoan the standard of refereeing in SA.
And with good reason‚ too‚ on this occasion it seems.
Referee Khulasande Qongo disallowed what seemed to be a legitimate Cape Town City goal in their 1-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Tuesday night.
Lehlohonolo got in to a low cross from Lyle Lakay to get to the ball ahead of Wayne Sandilands — when the Pirates goalkeeper did not have control of the ball yet — and scored in the 32nd minute. Qongo blew for a foul on the keeper. Thabo Qalinge then scored an 82nd-minute winner for Pirates.
"I think it was a nice game for the fans to see. I have certainly enjoyed myself, even though I might have looked a bit frustrated‚" McCarthy‚ in his maiden season as a head coach‚ said.
The former Blackburn Rovers striker paused‚ then added: "Umm‚ SA needs to up our refereeing a little bit.
"I think for me that’s our biggest thing that’s keeping our football a little bit behind, because you see the quality and the talent out there. The referee killed a good game of football. But‚ ja‚ when you are on the losing side, people are always going to say ‘excuses‚ excuses’.
"But I say this every week now‚ since I’ve started my coaching career. Every game, I’ve not been happy with the referee, with their decision-making — when you score legitimate goals and then it gets disallowed without even giving the coaches an explanation why.
"When you watch European football‚ referees give the coach an explanation because they’ve got the right to know why goals were disallowed.
"And here it is, ‘our way or the highway’. But overall‚ listen‚ we’ve played two of the biggest teams in the country. And I think the boys did incredibly well.
"We had chances — we just couldn’t score from them. But I’m very proud of the way we conducted ourselves.
"We respected Pirates but we didn’t fear them. At the end of the day, we lost‚ so now it’s back to the drawing board and the next challenge for us is Polokwane City at home [on Friday night]."
City slipped to their second defeat of the season‚ having lost 2-0 against Kaizer Chiefs last Wednesday‚ which followed a run of five league and Cup wins for McCarthy.