Orlando Pirates defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza made the referee’s red-card decision easier when he stomped on Stellies winger Ashley du Preez who crashed to the ground after taking a swinging elbow to the neck.
CAPE TOWN – Referee Thando Ndzandzeka deservedly sent Orlando Pirates defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza packing after he viciously elbowed Stellenbosch winger Ashley du Preez in Saturday’s DStv Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium, where the teams shared the spoils.
Nyauza made the red-card decision easier when he stomped on Du Preez who crashed to the ground after taking a swinging elbow to the neck. Ndzandzeka, a FIFA-accredited match official, is a former ‘Referee of the Season’ award winner.
The incident occurred just ahead of the halftime break and Pirates played the entire second half with a man short.
After the match, Pirates interim co-coach Mandla Ncikazi admitted he was not in a good position to see the incident but offered a comment on the red card.
“With Nyauza, I am not sure. I have not seen the incident from where I was sitting,” Ncikazi told the media afterwards.
“I am not sure whether the red card was given for the elbow or the stomping. If it was for the second, I do not think it was deliberate.
“I am saying it as a Pirates coach, maybe the referee has got different eyes.”
The other Pirates interim co-coach Fadlu Davids said the red card proved to be a setback for the team.
“The red card did not help us as well,” said Davids. “The character shown by the boys after restructuring the system and the shape was excellent.
“The character and the fight to be able to play with 10 men for most of the game was good.”
Davids said the team needs to address the slow start to matches.
“The way we start games is something we need to address,” said Davids. “We went behind so early [Stellenbosch scored a 2nd-minute goal], and it is a problem. You can say it was against the run of play and losing the ball in midfield and then a deflection.”
Pirates will return to DStv Premiership action on Tuesday when they go up against Marumo Gallants at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.