Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has vowed to have a “heart-to-heart” with his team for not shooting at goal more often in their 2-0 Telkom Knockout defeat to AmaZulu on Tuesday night.
The Citizens held AmaZulu at bay for over an hour, but then the home side scored twice within four minutes through Emiliano Tade and Bongi Ntuli at the King Zwelithini Stadium in uMlazi.
Usuthu will now face Orlando Pirates in the quarter-finals, while MTN8 champions City have to go back to the grind of the Absa Premiership.
“Two teams that went for it. Very open football. We tried to maintain them, we tried to eliminate getting into the little pockets. I thought first half, we did amazingly well,” City coach McCarthy told SuperSport in the post-match interview.
“And we created the space for ourselves, where we freed Craig Martin and Gift (Links) in behind their fullbacks. But ja, same old, same old. For the past two weeks, all we’ve done was offensive football, playing in between the lines, getting it into the striker, getting in behind, and finishing.
“And then today, we do exactly what we’ve done in training, but ja… So, I think if you don’t score goals, it’s clear what’s going to happen. It just gets a bit frustrating when your players doesn’t want to take responsibility to put the bloody ball in the back of the net. Simple.
“It’s easy to do it in training, when there is no opposition. Come game-time, it’s like nobody wants to get into positions where they should score goals.”
McCarthy insisted, though, that AmaZulu deserved to win because “they did what we couldn’t” as they capitalised on City errors to score.
But the former Bafana Bafana striker said that he has to address the goal-scoring problem soon, with City only netting eight times in as many matches to lie 14th on the 16-team league log.
“You have to give it to AmaZulu. They did what we couldn’t, but two goals – two opportunities, two mistakes, now they’re through to the next round,” McCarthy said.
“For us, concentrating on getting up the league table – getting points. But I think I’m going to have a nice heart-to-heart with my players because I think it’s clear to see something’s got to give. Something’s got to change, or else… Let me just keep it at that.
“I can’t be too heartbroken about it because in a cup competition, it can go either way. I think AmaZulu did what we had to do, they capitalised on our two mistakes, and we deserved to be knocked out.”
City will face AmaZulu again, this time in a league match, on Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium (8.15pm kickoff).