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Editor's Blog

The Referee Let Us Down

In this week's DoRego's blog, we feature Moroka Swallows’ Luvhengo Mungomeni.

Our 3-1 loss against Kaizer Chiefs was a very good game. There were lots of expectations because it was a Soweto derby. It was a big game and everybody wanted to win, which is why the players worked their socks off. We tried to do our best, but somehow the referee let us down. When such things happen in football, the players get demoralised. I only saw the second penalty where the referee said Siyabonga Nomvethe went into the box before the ball was kicked, but the first one...I’m not sure why he didn’t give us the goal. If it was a goal, it was going to be a different game. But, you know, after missing that penalty, everything just changed. But we have to keep on fighting. I can’t say that penalty was going to make us win, but those decisions kill players. It was a good performance and everybody wanted to fight for the badge. Chiefs move very quickly from their midfielders to the strikers and they come at you in numbers, so it wasn’t easy. We tried in the first half to contain them, but I think in the second half they outnumbered us. They are very dangerous in counterattacks. 


I’m giving Chiefs the league. I know it’s football and anything can happen, but I don’t think they’ll lose three games in a row. They can lose one, but not three! They are six points clear and it’s not going to be easy for their opponents, with the Chiefs supporters making noise so that other teams feel destabilised. 


It’s a must-win game for us against Maritzburg United because we have to defend our MTN8 trophy and to do so we need to be in the top eight. We need points. Cuthbert Malajila is doing well, but we can’t only focus on him. It’s about teamwork. Cuthbert doesn’t play alone. For him to score, he needs service from other players. We’ll be focusing on Maritzburg United. We just need to keep soldiering on. There are four games left and we’ll die for the club. 


I hadn’t played since the start of the year. I was out for more than two months with a broken finger. It was good to come back after so long. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy coming back in such a big game, but I had been working hard and doing extra training and that helped me play 90 minutes. When you hear people around you saying you did well, it’s encouraging. Unfortunately, there are only four games left, I might find my form now, and then we have to rest. But I will do my best to help the team qualify for the top eight. You know, in football, when there’s competition you don’t feel comfortable. You work harder. Larry Cohen came into the team and did well and the team was winning. I feel it’s good to have competition because when you compete, you become the best. But when you know you’re going to be there, it’s not good for you as a soccer player. You won’t learn anything. When you have competition, you know what you have to work on because if you slip up, you go out and it’s not easy to come back. I’m a person who loves competition and I am where I am today because of the competition I had with other players. I played with big name players at Mamelodi Sundowns and I competed!


Sibusiso Kumalo’s listens and is surrounded by players who’ve made their names and played football for quite some time, like Macbeth Sibaya and Lefa Tsutsulupa. If he wasn’t listening, he wouldn’t be doing well. You can see when he plays ukuthi (that) his confidence is growing. I just hope he keeps on working hard and focusing on his game because if you don’t focus, football is very cruel. Everywhere there’s a challenge. I don’t see anything wrong with him going to another club because if he wants to grow as a player, he has to face challenges. People are saying, ‘He’s signing for a big club. He won’t play!’ When I signed for Sundowns, people said the same thing, but I survived. It’s up to you whether you are going to live up to expectations and do what you do best. It’s about focusing, knowing your job and being humble. This thing of saying ‘Wrong move, wrong move’ is not on. If he doesn’t go to Sundowns, where will he go? He’s still at Swallows, with players who make him who he is today and God is there. Life is about challenges and if you’re not going to take a risk, you’re not going to survive in this world. 


Our supporters have been there for us and I still feel we need to give more to them. We are going to work hard until our legs break for the club’s cause. We are there because we love the club. We love them because they love us. They must just keep on supporting us because when they keep on singing and singing, you look up and you see them crying... it hurts when you lose and you see someone crying. We cry also, but we’ll do the best for them and the club. We’ve got the MTN8, although we should have done better in the league, but there’s still next season. We want to be in the top eight so that we win it again. I’d also like to thank Soccer-Laduma for giving me this platform after seeing me on the field at the weekend. It means you guys were asking all along, “Uphi lo mjita wase Venda?” (Where’s that guy from Venda?) Well, I’m back with a bang!


Luvhengo Mungomeni, 

Moroka Swallows


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