Vasco Da Gama have been knocked out of the Sasol League National Championships and their dream of qualifying for the Women’s National League has disappeared, but head coach Nathan Peskin said his team should hold their heads high.
The Western Cape Sasol League champions finished at the bottom of Group B after losing 3-1 to Ixias FC of the Free State on Tuesday, which was followed by a 1-1 stalemate with KwaZulu-Natal-based Sunflower FC.
Head coach Nathan Peskin said his team played “exceptional well” but poor officiating coupled with adverse weather conditions counted against them. “I can say undoubtedly that Vasco Da Gama was one of the top four teams in that tournament,” he said.
In both matches Vasco conceded penalties that Nathan believe were incorrectly awarded and a goal that seemed illegitimate was allowed to stand in favour of the opposition. “We were 1-0 up in the second half (of the first match) when the ref awarded a penalty to the opposition which was never a penalty. Just shortly thereafter our keeper punches a ball from a corner. It hits our defender’s head and the ball goes straight into the goalkeepers hands. The ref awards a goal. So it was sad.
“In our final match against Sunflower we played excellently. We were underdogs but played like champions. Again leading 1-0 until seven minutes from time the ref again awards a penalty against us again nowhere even close to a penalty. So these things really affect the outcome of games.”
Peskin said the heat was a scorching 35 degrees and the big stage got the better of his players. “But poor refereeing decisions against us didn’t help either.”