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"They waterlogged the pitch" 24/02/04
South African under-23 midfielder Gert Schalkwyk returned from Zambia last night (Monday) where Amaglug-glug lost 2-1 to Zambia in a Olympic qualifier and diminished their chances of making it to Athens later this year.

The Wits ball maestro spoke to SASoccer365.com about the appalling conditions and the wayward refereeing decisions they experienced.

"I did not enjoy the game at all," Schalkwyk said, I played just in front of the defence and it's not a position I normally play in at Wits.

Coach Conti Kubheka fielded Benedict Vilakazi, Joseph Makhanya, Papi Zothane and Schalkwyk in what promised to be an attacking midfield, but the play makers were on the back foot due to the waterlogged pitch and the refs appalling decisions.

"I went and played to the coaches instruction as it's a learning curve for me to play in another position, but I tell you man, the pitch had dams of water in certain places, it was not possible to play a fluid passing game.

"The ref also turned down what was a blatant penalty and that had a negative effect on the players."

Despite the conditions and the ref the boys held the Junior Chipolopolo in the first half to 1-1. However, Schalkwyk feels though that the team could have won the game.

"We can blame the ref all we want but the little chances we created we should have finished. This is Africa and it's difficult to get positive results from these games and everyone wants to go to the Olympics."

After the game Panathinaikos defender Nasief Morris charged at the ref and Schalkwyk understands his team-mate's frustration.

"That ref actually celebrated with the Zambians, I was really surprised by that and that's why Nasief charged at him. I don't blame him as we were all hyped up and very angry at what the ref done. He actually showed us we were robbed."

Schalkwyk has the put the loss behind him and is gearing up for the premiership meeting against Orlando Pirates on Wednesday evening.

"I'm going to training later and I'm looking forward to playing against Pirates. I've had enough rest and want to help my team towards a league title."

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