Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena apologised to substitute Pavol Safranko after being hauled off following his introduction off the bench in a 2-1 win over Baroka FC on Tuesday.
The 10-man Brazilians edged out Baroka with Themba Zwane grabbing the winner late in the second half after striker Kermit Erasmus received a straight red card just before half-time.
Safranko was introduced as an early substitution in the 25th minute after an injury to Peter Shalulile, before being hauled off in the 75th minute.
"We apologise to Pavol because he's a very, very good person," Mokwena said post-match.
"He's a gentle giant and it tore our hearts to shreds to pull him off, especially as he had come on as a substitute.
"You know that footballers really don't like that, but being a man down with the red car compounded things.
"We, unfortunately, had to do what's best for the club.
"It's a pity and it's not nice to do that to a player, we don't like that as we love our football players but at the same time, we've also got a big responsibility to do what's best for the club."
Sundowns next host Orlando Pirates in a league clash at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Friday.
Kick-off is at 19:30.