Barker questions controversial Chiefs penalty decisions

Stellenbosch FC suffered a 3-1 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs in their DStv Premiership clash on Sunday, with all three of Chiefs' goals coming from the penalty spot.
Stellenbosch FC suffered a 3-1 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs in their DStv Premiership clash on Sunday, with all three of Chiefs' goals coming from the penalty spot.

Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has delivered his verdict on the officiating during Sunday's defeat to Kaizer Chiefs after his side conceded three penalties and were reduced to 10 men.

On the occasion of their 100th DStv Premiership match, Stellies suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday after a hat-trick of penalty goals from Burundi international Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana saw the Amakhosi come from behind to claim all three points.

READ | Bimenyimana hat-trick fires Chiefs to come-from-behind win

The Cape Winelands-based side had opened the scoring through midfielder Nhlanhla Mgaga in the first-half before Bimenyimana drew a foul from the hosts' captain Rafiq De Goede before duly dispatching the resultant spot-kick.

He was at it again shortly after the half-time interval with another penalty goal following a handball, before completing his hat-trick with 56 minutes played after being felled by De Goede, who in turn was shown his marching orders.

The scoreline remain unchanged during the final 30 minutes of the match which ended with Stellies coach Steve Barker casting a frustrated figure following the decisions – in particular the first penalty – which went against his side.

READ | Barker: First time I've had three penalties in one game

"Three penalties and a red card, it's difficult when that happens to win a football game," the 54-year-old told the media during his post-match press conference.

"Unfortunately, I just don't think we were at our best defensively today, especially at the start of the game where there were a couple of big chances for them. I thought Sage Stephens did well, but they dominated the first 15-20 minutes

"Then I think the game settled a little bit, just leading into half-time. We pressed them in their final third and were able to get the lead, but going in to half-time 1-0 and 1-1 is two very different scorelines in a situation like today.

"I felt like the penalty that was given just before half time maybe changed the complexion of the game, going into the change room it obviously gave them a lift.

READ | Official: Barker pens Stellies contract extension

"In the second half, conceding again, two penalties, you just can't really win football matches if you are going to be conceding three penalties in a match and also getting a red card.

"I can't fault the effort of the players though, I thought they tried their best, and in actually fact when we went to ten men, it looked less likely that we would concede.

"Whether they took the foot of the pedal a bit and looked to retain the ball, that could've been their approach, but overall it was a bit disappointing. The last two matches against Chiefs in Cape Town, a couple of big calls have gone against us."

When asked for his thoughts on the merit of the penalty decisions, Barker added, "Unfortunately, I haven't seen all three. I was just informed that the first one was very soft, and the other two were penalties.

READ | 'Stellies' Mthethwa can be an asset for Bafana Bafana'

"I'm not too sure either, I will need to look at the rule book, but I don't know if you can give a penalty and a red card unless it's a really, really dangerous tackle and you're the last defender. I don't think Rafa [De Goede] deserves a straight red card and a penalty given against us. Again, another big call against us."

Barker's comments stem from his side's controversial penalty shootout defeat to Chiefs in the MTN8 quarter-final in which Stellies were denied a late penalty after officials seemingly consulted electronic aids despite VAR not being used in local football.

"We were given a penalty in the 97th-minute at the Danie Craven Stadium which was looked at on the monitor and reviewed, and told to the linesman that it's not a penalty – and it wasn't a penalty – but they looked at the monitor and informed," he added.

"I can't see why they can't do that again... Obviously there's no VAR so you can't do it, but how it was possible then still flabbergasts me. And then for it to happen again just before half-time, it's disappointing.

"It's an emotional game, you work hard and you really want to do well and then these decisions go against you. Emotions do run a bit high."

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