Fadlu Davids: Stuart Baxter ‘apology’ provided proof of Pirates’ ‘total domination’ of Chiefs

08 November 2021 - 09:53
By MARC STRYDOM
Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids

Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids claimed “total dominance” of the game, claiming Kaizer Chiefs counterpart Stuart Baxter’s apologies for refereeing decisions afterwards backed up his assertion that Bucs were largely robbed of a result in Saturday’s 2-1 DStv Premiership defeat.

Davids asserted in his post-match press conference that Baxter, in comments between the two at the final whistle, had apologised for some of referee Victor Hlungwani’s decisions in the gritty and unspectacular Soweto derby at FNB Stadium, including the injury-time penalty that saw Keagan Dolly strike the winner in the 92nd minute.

Baxter denied he had apologised, suggesting Davids had taken comments made by the Chiefs coach that “these refereeing decisions can go both ways” out of context.

Baxter, in his post-match press briefing, said he believed Bucs centre-back Olisa Ndah’s arm slung round the neck of Khama Billiat was worthy of Hlungwani’s penalty call.

In Davids’ summation of “total domination” by Pirates, he did concede that Bucs failed to turn superior possession and territory into enough chances, and that they gave away a  “gift” goal when Thulani Hlatshwayo’s sloppy back pass found Billiat to set up Dolly’s 49th-minute opener.

“The opposition coach Stuart Baxter comes to us afterwards and apologises for the penalty, apologises for us not getting a penalty, apologises for us maybe not getting a penalty in the first half as well, then it tells you the story,” Davids said.

“It’s a really unfortunate situation that happened. I think [it was] total dominance from start to finish. But you have to use this dominance to score the goals when you are on top.

“We said it at half time, and if you realise our games recently have been gifts in terms of the goals we are giving opponents. But overall, talking dominance, we’re really disappointed not to get the result in the end.

“Even when we got the equaliser we were the only team really going for the winner, and in the end everybody saw what happened.”

For the most part Chiefs, playing with less of the ball, were effective in pressurising Bucs’ possession to limit Pirates’ chances. Amakhosi appeared to have thrown three points away, though, when, in a game where the goals came from defensive errors, Terrence Dzvukamanja was allowed acres of space to head at Daniel Akpeyi and Linda Mtambo struck in the rebound for the 87th minute equaliser.

Ndah’s unnecessary foul on Billiat, extending an arm and pulling back on the Chiefs attacker having already won the aerial challenge, led to Dolly’s second and winner from the spot.