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NC Pros happy with Nedbank Cup experience

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In his post match remarks Sebastian lamented the referee’s inexperience

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Northern Cape Professionals FC returned home to Postmasburg on Monday after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Mbombela United in the last 32 round of the Nedbank Cup, but the team were sufficiently fired up to say that they were now aiming to play in the National First Division in the long run.

The team’s owner and coach, Robert Sebastian, said they were happy at the opportunity to have advanced deep into the lucrative competition so soon after the establishment of the team a year ago in Tsantsabane, Postmasburg.

Sebastian said that two members of his side have been approached by Mbombela for likely try-outs in the near future. He said Mbombela expressed interest in the services of midfielder Thabiso Mhlanga and central defender Graham Mokgokong.

When asked about Sunday’s match, however, Sebastian was scathing about the conduct of the referee who oversaw their game. In his post match remarks Sebastian lamented the referee’s inexperience.

Too intense

“The big thing about the game was that they (Safa) had appointed a female referee. I suspect the game was too big for her. She had no experience. The game was too intense. They (Mbombela) got a penalty which we disputed. It was not a proper penalty. Only she knows why she blew for a penalty,” he said.

Mbombela had scored first through this disputed penalty a mere 20 minutes into the game. NC pros rallied and equalised midway through the first half, but Mbombela finished off Pros in the 87th minute with their second goal.

Sebastian also said that he found it strange that Mbombela are awarded so many penalties.

“This is also the tenth consecutive penalty Mbombela gets, they even get penalties when they travel away. This is recorded in the ABC Motsepe League records, just check it out. This must be an eye-opener for the opposing teams as to why that team (Mbombela) always gets a penalty kick.”

Apart from the officiating Sebastian also laid into their opponents: “Mbombela was unsporting. They never kicked out the ball when we had an injured player. But we did that for them. We played well, even the Premier Soccer League co-ordinator Fani Khuzwayo came to us afterwards and congratulated us on our play.

“But that is behind us now. We’re playing to get into the NFD in the near future.”

NC Pros had financial help from Kumba Iron Ore who picked up their travel and kit tabs. And though Sebastian was exceedingly grateful, he said that it would be so much better if more businesses got behind the team. “We need the support of other businesses to help the team to progress,” he said.