CAPE TOWN – It’s always pleasing for a coach when new players come in and make an immediate impact.
Benni McCarthy handed Cape Town City debuts to four of his new signings - Dutch goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh, Ivory Coast defender Koassi Kouadja, right wing Riyaad Noordien and striker Siphelele Mthembu - and he was chuffed with their contribution in the 2-0 win over SuperSport United at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
“Peter (Leeuwenburgh) didn’t have all that much to do, but when called upon he did what he had to do,” said McCarthy. “He brings calmness to the team and is a huge figure in goal.
“Shaka (Mthembu) is going to be an important player for us and you saw that in his performance. Schillo (Norodien) can play anywhere in the attacking zone, a 10, seven or 11, and I have to say it was a blessing that we were able to sign him.
Koassi was in his first game in South Africa - he is still adjusting, but you could see his quality, his aggression and his composure on the ball.”
“But, for me, there was no real stand-out performer. I thought my whole team was fantastic. They all stuck to the task and got the job done.
“Teko (Modise) showed quality and made us play; the captain Thami (Mkhize) was excellent and, hey, Craig Martin even got a goal on his birthday.”
McCarthy declared himself happy with City’s victory on the opening day of the 2018-19 PSL season, but the former Bafana Bafana striker cautioned that there was a still a long way to go.
His team comfortably dispatched the Pretoria side on Saturday with a screaming volley from impressive Austrian Roland Putsche and a well-worked goal from Martin.
City have two tricky fixtures to negotiate this week - first up a league game against Baroka FC in Polokwane on Wednesday and then, in the first round of the MTN8, a trip to KZN to face Maritzburg United on Sunday.
“I have to say I’m happy with the performance,” said McCarthy. “But there is still things we can still improve on.”
The PSL schedule for this week is:
Kaizer Chiefs v Bidvest Wits
Polokwane City v Mamelodi Sundowns
Free State Stars v Maritzburg United
Golden Arrows v Bloemfontein Celtic
Baroka FC v Cape Town City (Peter Mokaba Stadium, 7.30pm)
Chippa United v Orlando Pirates
SuperSport United v AmaZulu
Highlands Park v Black Leopards
Mamelodi Sundowns v Golden Arrows
Kaizer Chiefs v Free State Stars
Orlando Pirates v SuperSport United
Maritzburg United v Cape Town City (Harry Gwala Stadium, 3pm)@Reinerss11