Benni McCarthy says his players deveser praise for the manner of their win over Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy has praised his Cape Town City players for beating and keeping a clean sheet against defending Absa Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns.

City beat Sundowns 1-0 in the first leg of their MTN8 semi-final tie at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, with Taariq Fielies scoring the only goal from a set piece. After the win, McCarthy thanked his players for leaving everything on the pitch.

“I’m very happy that we kept a clean-sheet. It’s not an easy game. Sundowns is the best team in our land. They’ve got the best players and make life difficult for you,” McCarthy told SuperSport.

“When you have a game of this magnitude and you keep clean-sheet you have to praise your players. The effort the players gave, they gave everything. It was only a matter of time until that goal was going to come because we piled on the pressure,” insisted the former Bafana Bafana marksman. At one stage if anyone of us was to put the ball on target it was bound to go in because it was coming. I’m very happy for the boys because they preserved and never gave up.”

The one goal advantage means City only need to draw the return leg in Pretoria next week in order to advance to the final. However, McCarthy said his side would not park the bus. Sundowns boss, Piso Mosimane, praised the former Bafana Bafana striker for City's entertaining stylle of play in Saturday's clash

“What a good game of football hey. That’s how football should be played. When you’re sitting at home you must see the passing game,” he told SuperSport. “I think we should give credit to Benni he has done well. Good brand of football, not to win at all costs. It’s beautiful. It’s good for our country to see young coaches coming up and play like this."

The first leg of the other semi-final takes place on Sunday, when SuperSport United host Kaizer Chiefs at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

IOL Sport

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