South Africa remain unconvinced they lost genuinely to Ghana in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers on Sunday with their defender Rushine De Reuck saying that ‘it felt like the game was rehearsed’.
South Africa FA organised a press conference on Wednesday in which De Reuck, who conceded the penalty that helped Ghana win 1-0, spoke emotionally about Bafana Bafana’s defeat.
Senegalese referee Ndiaye Maguette awarded Ghana a penalty after he adjudged De Reuck to have fouled Daniel Amartey in the box and Andre Ayew duly stepped up to convert from the spot and ultimately secure his country’s passage to the next round.
“It’s been a tough few days, not only for myself but for everybody who is part of Bafana Bafana,” the Mamelodi Sundowns star told the media.
“To go out in the way that we did was very painful. We put ourselves in a good situation and no one had given us a chance to do so well. It was very tough for us to go out the way we did.
“Obviously, it was a very big game, wanting to win for the country to qualify for the next round. We were all ready, we were all excited. You’re playing against top players whose playing in the Champions League and the Premier League.
“This is what you want for yourself, to test yourself against the very best players in the world. We did that but it felt like the opportunity for us to get a result was taken away from us because of the decisions that were made against us.
“It was so obvious. It felt like the game was rehearsed. Everybody knew what was going on from the referees to the players, the Ghanaian players and the ball boys even. It was very tough for us to see what was happening.
“Even in the first 10 minutes of the game we already saw that we weren’t going to get anything right but we continued to fight and we had moments in the game to capitalise, but we were robbed, never given a fair chance.
“As a player, I feel we deserve a second chance. It was heart-breaking, to lose in that way broke me. I want to say thank you to the supporters and the encouragement that I got over the last few days.”
FIFA has confirmed receiving a complaint from South Africa FA in relation to the match.
The Ghana FA hasn’t reacted to any of the accusations with their focus on the play-offs draw scheduled for December.