Monday Sep 26, 2016. 13:01
ZESCO United head coach George Lwandamina bemoaned what he referred to simply as 'hometown decisions' following the clubs 2-0 (3-2 on aggregate) defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2016 Caf Champions League semifinals.
The Zambians took a 2-1 lead into the second-leg in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening, but goals from Anthony Laffor and Percy Tau shifted the tie into the Brazilians favour as they successfully booked their place in next month's final.
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Lwandamina was especially aggrieved by what he felt was an illegitimate goal scored by Tau in the second-half, just as ZESCO were bossing the game.
"There were too many hometown decisions coming from the [Algerian] referee which made it so difficult, even in the second-half, but we tried to push," said Lwandamina.
"I don't like talking about referees, sometimes they misinterpret issues. But, I cannot comment on the second goal again because from where I was seated I thought it [Percy Tau's goal] came from an offside position.
"The goal gave them more impetus, we were trying to push that is why when they gave them [Sundowns' hometown decisions] you will see emotions coming from my boys," he concluded.
Nonetheless, Lwandamina was delighted with the progress made by his troops with ZESCO having reached the final four for the first time in their history - Team Ya Ziko now switch focus back to the league.
“It has been a good walk, we have done so well, the bookmakers didn’t even give us a chance," 'Chicken' continued. "Unfortunately our road has ended here but the boys still fought.
“We’ve gained so much experience along the way, I’m sure the boys have grown and hopefully we’ll be able to return the league back home so that we can compete again [in the CAF Champions League] because we have put the mark, so we have to do better than we have done next year.”
Furthermore, Lwandamina believes that Sundowns will have to sharpen up their defence if they are to overcome Zamalek in the final.
"They will have to work on their defence if they are to win this cup," he concluded.