Mandla Ncikazi took another swipe at Simba SC after the Buccaneers knocked-out the Tanzanians in the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup.
Pirates emerged as 1-0 winners in the second leg, with the Buccaneers taking the score-line to a 1-1 draw on aggregate. But, it was the Soweto giants who would go on to seal their spot in the semi-finals of the tournament with a 4-3 win on penalties.
The Buccaneers displayed some good performance as they dominated the East African outfit for the most part of the match, but they couldn’t extend their lead leaving the match to go to penalties.
Leading up to the game, there were lots of exchanges from both sides of the camps following Ncikazi’s allegations that Simba gave Bucs a hostile treatment and said it was important for his charges to remain calm while claiming the Reds of Msimbazi were playing for a draw in the return leg.
“I must be honest with you, this team is well trained in delaying tactics. Whoever has coached them to do that should not be part of the game,” said Ncikazi in his post-match interview.
“They played for penalties. But I think even outside (of the game) it was important for Pirates to be composed. The team is very intelligent in terms of the social media invasion. They’ve been trying to destabilise us for the whole week. I’ve never seen people that are not wrong in any scenario. We are not the only team that had issues with them. I think all the teams that visited that country and team had issues.”
The Bucs coach also feels his side could have been handed two penalties had referee Bernard Camille from the Seychelles checked VAR in the later stages of the game.
“At some point, I saw the officials going to VAR, which was functioning, at some point, it didn’t function. I don’t know why from where I was standing, I also saw two handballs. I don’t know whether it’s a manipulation of the rules. But it would have been nice to refer the two handballs to VAR. Why it was not working, it’s still amazing in my eyes.”
Despite Ncikazi’s discontent with the way things went on, Bucs still managed to secure a win and they have now been drawn against Libyan side Al-Ahli Tripoli in the semi-finals. The first leg of this tie is scheduled to be played on 8 May away in Libya, with the return leg set for 15 May in Soweto.