Bennett told me he was sorry - Tembo

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has revealed that experienced referee Daniel Bennett apologised to him and accepted he may have been wrong not to red-card Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune for handling the ball outside the box.

Khune was lucky to only be cautioned for stopping Aubrey Modiba's shot with his hands outside the box in their 1-0 Telkom Knockout quarterfinal win over SuperSport on Sunday.

"At halftime I spoke to the referee [Bennett]. I wanted to find out what his thoughts were. He apologised to me and said he made a wrong decision. he was not really sure why he could not make the call," said Tembo.

"I was [too] far [away] to see what was happening there.

"You have to give the referee the benefit of the doubt because I do not think he did it deliberately. He needed to be sure... it's a big game and big stage, so sometimes when you make decisions you need to be very sure."

However, the Matsatsantsa coach felt hard done by after one of Bennett's assistants made an offside call against them early in the first half.

Tembo said the call almost cost them.

"The only decision that really disappointed me was just before that Khune incident.

"We had a throw-in and we took it but the linesman gave it as offside. For me that was disappointing because we nearly conceded from that situation.

"But other than that, I won't say there were bad decisions," added Tembo.

While reiterating his faith in his squad, the SuperSport mentor conceded that the absence of injured players such as his skipper Dean Furman and Bradley Grobler took its toll on Sunday.

"Obviously, those are our big players. Furman is our captain. He'll be out for two or three months.

"Grobler is out for a while as well.

"We're a little bit thin but we have to give confidence and believe in the rest of the team because we signed them for a purpose."