Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso has hit back at claims by Orlando Pirates interim coach Rulani Mokwena that Amakhosi used "thuggish" behaviour in the recent Soweto derby that was played earlier this month.
Mokwena was livid after his team lost 3-2 to their fierce rivals in an Absa Premiership clash played before the international break at the FNB Stadium, accusing Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp of encouraging his players to fight.
Tempers flared towards the end of the game as Amakhosi defender Eric Mathoho was shown a red card for shoving Abel Mabaso in the face.
Mokwena claimed post-match that Mabaso had suffered a fractured nose, but recent images show the Pirates defender fully fit in training this week.
I thought @orlandopirates player Abel Mabaso was injured after Rulani Mokwena said his nose was fractured after some “thuggery” by @KaizerChiefs in the #SowetoDerby— Baden Gillion (@BadenGillion) November 21, 2019
Looks fine to me in training this week! ??#AbsaPrem #TKO2019 pic.twitter.com/euDJCUFmCz
Cardoso, who was speaking to reporters ahead of the Telkom Knockout semi-final against Maritzburg United on Sunday, hit back at Mokwena saying the Pirates mentor must keep own players in check.
In the previous derby this season, a Telkom Knockout last eight clash played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium a week before the league encounter, Pirates winger Thembinkosi Lorch fouled Khama Billiat before stamping on him only to receive a yellow card.
Cardoso said: "If you look at the week before we played the derby and Lorch stood on Khama and nothing was said.
"Rulani didn't have anything to say. I am not bad-mouthing him or anything, but it works both ways.
"I think he is an emotional coach and obviously it was a big derby.
"But it's part of football. We didn't go out to fight, I think it got blown out of proportion."
While Mathoho is banned for this weekend's cup game against the Team of Choice, Kaizer Chiefs will also be without goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi and midfielder Willard Katsande due to suspension.
Kick-off is at 15:00.
- TeamTalk Media