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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Zambia coach feels ‘robbed’ after Banyana loss

'But the referee’s decision is final in football, so there is nothing we can do about it,' said Bruce Mwape.

Zambia national women’s team coach Bruce Mwape says his charges were ‘robbed’ after losing 1-0 to Banyana Banyana, thanks to a last minute penalty awarded to the South Africans in the semifinal of the Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) at Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca on Monday

The two teams fought out a close contest for the spot in the final of the Wafcon, with the game lacking goals despite numerous attempts from both sides.

ALSO READ: Late drama sees Banyana reach WAFCON final

It was only in stoppage time, with the clash seemingly going to extra time that Ethiopian referee Lidya Tafesse awarded Banyana a penalty after checking the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which led her to point to the spot for a foul on Banyana striker Jermaine Seoposenwe.

But the Copper Queens coach is adamant that the call was wrong.

“From my own opinion, I still don’t believe that was supposed to be a penalty. It was a bit far from where I was seated, but I could see that there was no contact between the two players. But the referee’s decision is final in football, so there is nothing we can do about it.

“She (referee) might have made a mistake, but the final decision was that decision. We are disappointed because that is not the way the game was supposed to end,” said the Zambia women’s national team mentor.

“We could have gone to extra time because by the time she gave the penalty the game was almost over. From my side, I feel that we were robbed.”

The Copper Queens will now contest the Bronze medal against holders Nigeria, who lost 5-4 to hosts Morocco on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after extra-time with the Super Falcons finishing the game with nine players.

Zambia and Nigeria’s game will be played in Casablanca on Friday.

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