A controversial decision from the fourth official, had Sundowns’ coach Manqoba Mgqithi claiming that the first goal was unfair. The Pretoria-based side got knocked out of the MTN8 on Saturday, 22 October 2022, with the score line finishing 3-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The Sundowns coach was pleased with how his team played, but he was not pleased with the nature of how his team got knocked out. Sundowns were trailing 1-0 in the first 8 minutes of the game, from a headed goal by their former player Kermit Erasmus.
The goal shouldn’t have stood, as alluded by coach Mgqithi, as it was seen the ball was over the line before Saleng crossed the ball to Erasmus.
However, in reality, mistakes happen in football, especially given that VAR has not been introduced in the Premier Soccer League. We have seen numerous incorrect decisions being made this season alone. TS Galaxy had their share of the moment, where referee Thokozani Mhize’s decision to award Kaizer Chiefs a free kick, resulted in the Soweto giants scoring a last gasp equalizing goal.
With the amount of talent Sundowns have at their disposal, and with almost the entire game still ahead of them, Downs had plenty of time to get back into the game, which pours cold water to a certain extent on Mgqithi’s claims. The likes of Zwane, Sirino and Mokwena simply put did not create enough clear-cut chances with the amount of possession they had, and the amount of time still left in the game.
However, starting one-nil down against a well-oiled Orlando Pirates was a tough task. The Buccaneers tactical line up clearly frustrated the Pretoria-based side. The first goal fed their momentum and Ezimyama Ngenkani capitalized on that, forcing Sundowns to chase the game, and the rest is history.