Kermit Erasmus tries to gain the sympathy of the referee after kicking Highlands Park captain Mothobi Mvala on Tuesday. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency/ANA

Highlands Park couldn’t handle Kermit Erasmus, and the only way they could stop Cape Town City was by getting one of their players sent off.

That was the verdict from City coach Benni McCarthy after former Bafana Bafana striker Erasmus was red-carded for lashing out at Mothobi Mvala at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday night.

Referee Eugene Mdludli sent off Erasmus, and yellow-carded Highlands captain Mvala for picking up the ball to prevent City from taking a quick free kick by picking up the ball.

That is when Erasmus, who had been fouled, had had enough, and his swing of the boot struck Mvala on his right knee.

Tendai Ndoro put Highlands 1-0 up, but Craig Martin equalised to secure a point for City.

“Kermit… a stupid reaction‚ but he was provoked I would say. But then you bite and leave your team with 10 men‚” McCarthy told TimesLIVE.

“Up until he got provoked and got sent off‚ he was sensational.

“They couldn’t handle him, and the only way they could try and stop us, and get a point from the game, was to get one of our players sent off.

“When we played them last (in the Nedbank Cup), we lost Roland (Putsche) to injury after tackles from them...

“Thabo Nodada is out for the whole season after tackles from them. They know the capability of our team.

“It is actually a positive for me and my players that those are the kind of tactics teams set up against you. It means we are making good progress.”

The Citizens are in fifth position on 41 points, nine behind leaders Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, but with a game in hand.

They next take on Chippa United in Port Elizabeth on Friday (8pm kickoff).

“For us, it is about competing to stay in the top six or top eight‚” McCarthy said. “We have to keep going‚ we have had a sensational season.

“The boys were quality throughout the season. We had some setbacks, but overall, we have been one of the best performing teams in the league‚ football-wise.”

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