Pirates were on the receiving end of some harsh decisions from Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa, who also officiated in last year’s final second-leg in which Esperance beat Al Ahly 3-0, and his assistants during their goalless Group B draw at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Most notably, The Buccaneers were denied a penalty after a studs-up challenge on Thembinkosi Lorch inside the visitors’ box before the half-hour mark, before a legitimate goal by striker Justin Shonga on the stroke of half-time was flagged for off-side – replays, however, suggested otherwise.
Despite such controversy, Sredojevic maintained a diplomatic approach in his post-match interview, insisting that complaining about the decisions would do little in changing the outcome thereof, as he looked ahead at improving in the upcoming Soweto Derby and next Tuesday’s return leg against the Tunisian giants.
“My job is to coach, together with the technical team, and organise the team, preparing the players to play – I do not belong to the people that are looking elsewhere,” said Micho.
“As a technician, I’m fully focussed and concentrated on [my job], and even if I say anything negative it will not help us in whatsoever way.
“We need to now, after all, reanalyse and see how we can improve because the demands of the matches ahead of us against Kaizer Chiefs and Esperance will be much higher, and this is all we’re focussed on.
“We have not right to look elsewhere, except at the technical issues. Those things, we leave freedom to you – our dear respected friends [media] – to judge. People have seen it elsewhere, and I cannot comment on that.”