Home Sport ‘The refereeing does not assist us’, says Ncikazi after Swallows FC draw

‘The refereeing does not assist us’, says Ncikazi after Swallows FC draw

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Mandla Ncikazi, co-coach of Orlando Pirates. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

The refereeing does not assist us. In the past few matches, the refereeing and officiating has been bad towards Pirates. I don’t know the reasons for this but I hope it improves.

DURBAN – Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi launched an attack against the DSTV Premiership referees who he feels have been unfair to his side following their 1-1 draw against relegation candidates Swallows FC at the Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday night.

“The refereeing does not assist us. In the past few matches, the refereeing and officiating has been bad towards Pirates. I don’t know the reasons for this but I hope it improves. We can’t be subjected to such bad decisions week in and week out,” said Ncikazi.

ALSO READ: Frustration as Pirates drop points in original Soweto derby

Pirates will certainly be very frustrated following their stalemate against struggling Swallows FC in the Original Soweto derby.

It was the perfect time for the Sea Robbers to win. They entered the game on the back of a morale-boosting 2-0 win over TS Galaxy and a win over the Dube Birds would have given them a further lift in spirit ahead of their upcoming away encounter against reigning league champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.

Ncikazi also repeated a message he has already given several times this season. He felt his side played well but did not convert their chances to create an accurate reflection of the game.

“We deserved all the points. We played in patches and subconsciously moved back which was not the plan. We had the better of the chances. Swallows did create a few which forced some good saves from our goalkeeper. I’m concerned that we are not ruthless in front of goal. We missed shots and ended up in a stalemate,” said Ncikazi.

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One positive that Pirates can take out of the game against Swallows was that the performance of midfielder Bandile Shandu was once again strong. After netting against Galaxy last weekend, Shandu scored his second goal in as many games by striking in the third minute against Swallows. The former Maritzburg United player’s heroics was short-lived as Ruzaigh Gamildien equalized from the penalty spot for the Dube Birds 12 minutes later.

Judging by the fact that Pirates could not break down the defensively fragile Swallows side, it is very difficult to see them becoming the first team to inflict a league defeat upon Sundowns in their upcoming game.

Ncikazi himself admitted that his team’s game against the runaway league leaders will be an “uphill battle”.

“Sundowns are doing really well but Pirates must rise. Sundowns are not invincible and immortal. It is possible to beat them but we will have to bring our best game to beat such a good side,” he said.

@EshlinV

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