Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt said South African football was “crazy” after a disallowed goal robbed the league challengers of victory over SuperSport United Saturday
“It is crazy. The ball was clearly over the goalline but the referee refused to allow the goal,” said the coach who has won a record-equalling four South African Premiership titles.
“Often, the hardest thing to achieve in South African football is a win. I feel for my players who have worked so hard this season.”
Video replays of the incident at Mbombela Stadium in eastern city Nelspruit confirmed that a shot from Zimbabwean Terrence Dzvukamanja had clearly crossed the goalline.
The decision meant Wits had to settle for a 1-1 draw that left them third, five points behind leaders Orlando Pirates and two adrift of Mamelodi Sundowns with only two rounds remaining.
While Wits have a mathematical chance of winning the title for the second time in three seasons, the battle for first place appears to rest between Pirates and Sundowns.
The top two finishers qualify for the 2019/2020 CAF Champions League while the club coming third goes into in the less financially rewarding CAF Confederation Cup.
SuperSport coach and former Zimbabwe defender Kaitano Tembo was equally furious after the match, but not about the disallowed goal.
His anger was directed at the referee for sending off captain Dean Furman midway through the second half.
– Escaped unpunished –
Replays of the incident showed Furman being struck in the face by the elbow of Hashim Domingo, who escaped unpunished.
Sifiso Hlanti put Wits ahead six minutes before half-time with his first goal of the league season and Clayton Daniels equalised in first half stoppage-time.
A disastrous Premiership season for once mighty Kaizer Chiefs continued when they slumped 1-0 away to Bloemfontein Celtic in a mid-table clash settled by an Ndumiso Mabena goal.
Seventh-place Chiefs are 17 points below arch rivals Pirates having won just nine of 28 matches and last lifted one of the four trophies on offer each season four years ago.
Bottom club Maritzburg United pulled off an unexpected 2-1 win away to fellow strugglers Black Leopards in remote northeastern town Thohoyandou.
A United side that has battled to score lately found themselves two goals ahead through Mohau Mokate and a Jean Djunga Munganga own-goal before Zambian Mwape Musonda netted for Leopards.
It was the chart-topping 15th league goal of the season for Musonda, who is expected to be the target of several top clubs during the close season.
Only three points separate the five sides in the danger zone with the consequences for those who go down including a 1.2 million rand ($85,000/75,000 euros) drop in a monthly grant.