Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane fumed over his players being accused of time wasting when substituted as they beat SuperSport United 2-1 on Sunday in the South African league.
“When I asked the referee how many minutes of stoppage time would be played, he said ‘four’, but when the fourth official held up the electronic board it showed five additional minutes.
“I asked the fourth official why there were five minutes of stoppage time and not four as indicated by the referee and he said it was because our substituted players walked off.
“Maybe I need my eyesight checked because when I watch the English Premier League or the Spanish La Liga of the Italian Serie A, I see substituted players walking off.
“Is there some new rule I am unaware of that states a substituted player must dash off the field? Please educate me,” Mosimane asked reporters.
If the Sundowns players who were replaced did walk rather than dash off the field during the Pretoria derby, they could point to tiredness after a weary week.
It took them 39 hours to reach Equatorial Guinea in central Africa for a CAF Champions League preliminary round match and the return trip lasted 33 hours.
“We arrived home only on Friday and had little time to prepare for the SuperSport match,” said former South Africa coach and striker Mosimane in defence of his players.
Winning the derby stretched the unbeaten record of defending champions Sundowns against neighbours SuperSport to 11 matches in the Premiership.
The latest success stemmed from first-half dominance that could have produced more goals than those scored by Lebohang Maboe and Lyle Lakay.
Maboe caught goalkeeper Ronwen Williams napping with a long-range shot and Maboe fired across the goal into the far corner.
SuperSport improved after the break and halved the deficit midway through the second half when Morgan Gould netted from close range after a free-kick.
“It was not surprising that we faded after half-time because our travelling in Africa caught up with us,” admitted 2016 CAF Champions League-winning coach Mosimane.
Bloemfontein Celtic squandered a second chance within five days to top the table after losing 2-1 at home against Polokwane City.
Zambian Salulani Phiri gave City an early lead, Kabelo Dlamini levelled 11 minutes from time and Monde Mphambaniso netted the winning goal with 60 seconds of regular time remaining.
Celtic needed to beat SuperSport last Wednesday to go top but only drew and maximum points against Polokwane would have taken them above leaders Orlando Pirates on goal difference.
Pirates have 24 points as the Premiership approaches the halfway stage, Wits 23, Sundowns, Celtic and Polokwane 21, SuperSport 19 and Kaizer Chiefs 18.
© Agence France-Presse