The final of the MTN8 between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium this past Saturday stirred controversy due to referee Abongile Tom’s decisions.
Former PSL referee Victor “Principal” Hlongwane sheds light on key incidents that played a pivotal role in the outcome of the match.
Shandu Incident – No Penalty
In the 74th minute, Bandile Shandu handled the ball inside his box while attempting to defend Aubrey Modiba’s cross.
Hlongwane asserts that Tom made the correct call by not awarding a penalty.
Shandu’s hands were in a natural position, and he did not deliberately use them to stop the attack.
Shalulile’s “Impeding” of Chaine
In the third minute of extra time, Sipho Chaine spilled the ball after a shot from Tebogo Mokoena, leading to his tackle on Lebogang Maboe in the box.
Surprisingly, the call went against Sundowns. Hlongwane explains that Shalulile impeded Chaine before the tackle, and the foul was rightfully awarded against the Sundowns striker.
Timm’s Foul on Shalulile – Unpunished
Four minutes later, Pirates’ midfielder Miguel Timm fouled Shalulile inside the box.
Shalulile had reached the ball first, and Timm kicked him from behind.
Tom, however, waved off calls for a penalty. Hlongwane argues that Timm’s foul went unpunished and that a penalty should have been given.
📺 The Principal’s verdict on #MTN8FINAL talking points
– Ref got it wrong with the indirect free kick
– Shandu incident not a penalty
– Shalulile “impeded” Chaine prior tackle on Maboe
– Timm fouled Shalulile, penalty should have been given 👇🏾 pic.twitter.com/wpIP4RLreK
— Mazola J. Molefe (@superjourno) October 9, 2023
The MTN8 final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates will be remembered for the contentious decisions made by referee Abongile Tom.
While Hlongwane agrees with two of Tom’s calls, he strongly believes that the missed penalty in the Timm-Shalulile incident had a significant impact on the outcome.
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The match ultimately ended in a 3-1 penalty shootout victory for Pirates after a goalless 120 minutes of play.