Pretoria - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane declared he had "nothing to say" when asked to comment on several controversial refereeing decisions during his team's crucial 2-0 Premier League win over Free State Stars at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Saturday night.
"Comments on referees have cost me R500 000 in PSL fines in the past. I need the money for my children's schooling. So I've got nothing at all to say this time," he said.
Despite Mosimane's stoic silence on the subject, many in the small crowd at the Charles Mopeli Stadium were adamant Sundowns should have been awarded a penalty early in the second half and that they were also unfortunate to be reduced to 10 men after Mzikayise Mashaba was sent off in the 62nd minute for a second yellow card offence.
The Sundowns' coach, was a great deal more vocal on the quality of his team's performance, particularly while playing the final 30 minutes with 10 men after leading 1-0 at one point with a depleted line-up.
"We played our best soccer of the match when reduced to 10 men. They exhibited real character and commitment in this difficult situation.
"We've got a lot of tough, important matches coming up in the next few weeks in different competitions, but with the attitude shown by the players on this occasion, I'm confident we'll do well and prove our mettle," he said.
Meanwhile defending champions Sundowns moved back into second position in the Premier League championship race on Saturday and maintained their challenge to log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with the win over over Stars.
It was a workmanlike and essential success for The Brazilians to remain in the title race and brought them within 11 points of Chiefs with a game in hand.
Stars, for their part, put up a gritty performance and made life difficult for their more-vaunted opponents to the end, although the defeat now leaves them more vulnerable in the relegation zone.
Stars held their own against Sundowns until what turned out to be the critical 45th minute of the opening half when top PSL scorer Cuthbert Malajila recorded his fourth goal in the last four games with a precisely-placed, loping header.
Then the tricky Khama Billiat ended his recent scoring drought by guiding the ball through a packed goalmouth of defenders and into the corner of the net for the second goal in the 72nd minute.