Cape Town - Despite a convincing 2-0 scoreline, Central African Republic (CAR) coach Herve Loungoundji slammed the officiating in his side's World Cup qualifying defeat against Bafana Bafana here on Saturday.
The team of Ugandan referees controversially disallowed a CAR goal only after protests by Bafana players, led by captain Itumeleng Khune.
The players surrounded referee Kalyango Ali in the 55th minute, urging him to overturn the goal. Replays suggested CAR player Romaric Liganzi used his hand to get the ball in the back of the net.
At the time the hosts led 1-0, and the goal would have levelled the scores.
"We are very pleased with the match," said Loungoundji.
"Bafana Bafana played very well to win the match, playing in front of their public.
"Our problem is the refereeing. In Africa we come back to the issue of referees, and the way the referees handled this match was not fair at all."
Loungoundji was especially seething after the decision to disallow Liganzi's goal.
"The referee validated the goal and the linesman also validated the goal," he said.
The CAR coach felt Khune's conduct was unacceptable. "To go and see the linesman, who did not even show a sign that there was a problem, is unacceptable."
Loungoundji said Bafana, who got their qualifying campaign back on track after two previous draws, would have their work cut out when they travel to CAR for the return fixture in June.
"We've never lost at home. We've played Egypt, Morocco and Algeria at home and never lost," he said.
"We will be very, very difficult for Bafana, although it's football and anything can happen."
With just three points from as many games, Loungoundji believed all was not lost for his team.
"We think with this victory, Bafana is sitting at five (points), and we have three.
"If we defeat Bafana at home we'll be sitting on six, and our advantage now is that we have two matches at home.
"Then we will stand in the way of Bafana."