ELVIS Chipezeze has denied recurring accusations of unsporting behaviour, levelled against him by Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane.
The Baroka goalkeeper has repeatedly incurred the wrath of the coach each time the two sides clash.
Although Chipezeze did not feature in the most recent meeting between the two teams, his name cropped up.
Mosimane, whose side has mostly struggled against the Limpopo-based outfit, accused Baroka goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini of time wasting when the champions suffered a 1-0 defeat in the bio-safe bubble.
In his post-match report interview, Mosimane said he thought Chipezeze was worse but was surprised that Dlamini employed the same tactics, charging that Baroka were breeding them.
The accusations first emerged at the end of the 2018 when Bakgakga held Downs to a goalless draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Tshwane.
Chipezeze was named Man of the Match, a development that further infuriated Mosimane.
Now the Zimbabwean goalkeeper has broken his silence over the accusations of bad sportsmanship in an interview with CAJ News Africa.
“It’s not antics at all,” said the 30-year-old.
“Rather, I call it game management.”
He said as a goalkeeper and captain, he had the added responsibility of managing their games.
“As a captain, sometimes, if I sense danger coming from our opponents, I have to be smart, tactical, strategic and devise manoeuvres to manage the game.”
“It’s not always good to be dictated how to play by our opponents. We should rather counter their strategy. I call that game management,” he said.
While they had their relegation woes to worry about, Baroka had a reputation of party poopers during the just-ended season.
The win against Sundowns delayed the newly-crowned league champions’ coronation.
They followed that up with a spoilsport performance that denied Kaizer Chiefs the title on the last day of the campaign.
The match at Bidvest Stadium ended 1-1 and denied Chiefs their first league title since the 2014-15 season.
Those two matches were a turning point as the perennial relegation fighters avoided the axe to the first division.
Chipezeze hailed his teammates, particularly for the performance against Chiefs.
“That match against Chiefs was a humdinger,” he said.
“We were fighting to evade the looming relegation, while Chiefs wanted to claim the league title.
“So, there was no way we were going to allow our opponents to kick us out of the Premiership.”
Chipezeze, meanwhile, disclosed Baroka were aiming for a top eight finish next season.
“It is not nice to be at the bottom of the league table every season. It must come to an end,” he said.
“We must start winning games and collecting valuable points. We also hope to win trophies too,” added the player.
While history suggests a top eight finish would be far-fetched, history would also affirm winning trophies is possible after Baroka lifted the Telkom Knockout in 2018.
Chipezeze has been a key member of the side after joining from Zimbabwe’s Chicken Inn earlier that year.
He has accumulated over 60 matches since his debut in the one-all draw against Highlands Park at Peter Mokaba Stadium. – CAJ News