Johannesburg - A Mauritius footballer was bizarrely sent off for heading the ball as his team lost 2-0 to Namibia Tuesday on matchday 3 of the Cosafa Cup in Moruleng.
Television replays showed Bruno Ravina clearing a shot at goal with his head, but the Lesotho referee gave him his second yellow card of the Group A game followed by a red one.
Baffled Ravina pointed to his forehead, but the match official believed he handled the ball and awarded a penalty from which Namibia scored their second goal.
Mauritius coach Didier Six, the former star France winger, and his substitutes left the touchline for the changing rooms in disgust at the decision in the southern Africa championship.
And when Six, 60, came to the top of a tunnel leading to the changing rooms soon after to watch the game again, the referee ran to the Frenchman and sent him off.
"We are so frustrated," said a Mauritian official who requested anonymity.
"The first goal looked offside and the penalty should not have been awarded."
Benson Shilongo, one of four changes to a Namibian side held 0-0 by Seychelles Sunday, scored both goals.
He clumsily side-footed a low cross into the corner of the net after four minutes and converted the controversial 65th-minute penalty as the Mauritian goalkeeper dived in the opposite direction.
Namibia face Group A leaders Zimbabwe Thursday at the same venue and must win to finish first and secure a quarter-final date with defending champions Zambia.
Zimbabwe followed up a two-goal victory over Mauritius two days ago by defeating ultra-cautious Seychelles 1-0 through a superb Talent Chawapiwa goal.
Winger Chawapiwa, who struck the woodwork in the opening half, broke the deadlock on 53 minutes to justify his first start of the tournament.
The ball was headed back to him just outside the box and he unleashed a fierce, low shot that flew into the corner of the net off the hand of goalkeeper Jose Euphrasie.
Madagascar play Tanzania and Swaziland meet Lesotho in Rustenburg on Wednesday in the second series of Group B matches.