Kano Pillars defender Isaac Loute has said the referee caused his team’s heavy loss to Morocco’s Mohgreb Athletic Tetouan (MAT) 4-0 in a re-arranged CAF Champions League tie.
Loute said the loss could have been a respectable one had the referee been fair and firm in the game.
“We are not supposed to lose the game woefully as we did. The referee contributed to the heavy loss,” Loute alleged.
“Mohgreb’s first goal was a clear offside, and he allowed it. We then had a clear penalty appeal when the game was 3-0 but he turned it down. Had it been awarded and we scored, it could have changed the course of the game.”
A hat-trick from Mouhcine Iajour was all the Moroccan champions needed to thrash Pillars in a first round, first leg clash on Saturday.
The former Raja Casablanca forward opened the scoring in the 14th minute, he doubled his team’s lead in the 27th minute and eight minutes later, he completed his hat-trick.
Moghreb’s fourth goal was scored in the 90th minute.
Pillars now need to win by at least 5-0 in return leg in Kano to advance to the next round of the competition.
Hat-trick hero Iajour was part of Wydad Casablanca team who eliminated Pillars in the 2013 edition of this same competition.
Pillar started the game well initiating attacks but could not find the cutting edge.
Reuben Ogbonnaya was close to goal when his free kick in the 18 minute missed by a whisker.
The star for Pillars in this encounter was Rabiu Ali, who shone in midfield.
Tony Edjomariegwe was brought down at some point in the second half but Pillars appeal for a penalty was ignored by the referee.