CAPE TOWN – City have beaten SuperSport United three times in a row without conceding a goal. The Citizens bagged two of those wins in the league this season and the other in the MTN8 final (won 4-1 on penalties).
City are again favoured to get the better of United, in a Nedbank Cup round-of-32 tie, at the Cape Town Stadium tomorrow (8.15pm kickoff).
“We’re up for this bout,” said City coach Benni McCarthy. “It’s a knockout game and if we give it 150% effort and go out there and do what we know we have to do then there’s no reason why we can’t advance to the next round.”
United may have come up short in recent times but they know that in their last trip to the Mother City at the beginning of the year they should have won the league game had they made the most of a glut of chances. City scored in the closing minutes through Gift Links and McCarthy admitted they were fortunate to win.
The Pretoria side return with some of their big guns in toe and McCarthy is wary of the threat posed by the likes of Dean Furman, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Teboho Mokoena.
“Dean is their talisman, he’s a very solid, well-organised born leader, then Reneilwe at 36 who never seems to age and is capable of hurting you if you allow him to strut his stuff, and then the young Teboho who I think is a sensational player on the pitch and we’ll need to be on guard with our organisation and discipline to shut him out.
“That said, we have an array of stars in our fold, backs, midfielders, wings and strikers who can and will score if getting into the right positions and staying composed before pushing the firing button,” said McCarthy.
City midfield duo Roland Putsche and Thabo Nodada are injured. It paves the way for Teko Modise and Thato Mokeke to strike a pose and McCarthy believes he’s got depth in this department to strike fear into any opponent.
Links and fellow winger Craig Martin could be the go-to men on the flanks. Links bagged a brace in the 5-0 drubbing of Free State Stars nine days ago and he says he wants a lot more.
Striker Siphelele Mthembu sits on seven league goals and is primed for more, says McCarthy. So it’s all systems go for another victory for the Capetonians in the first step towards a tilt at a second cup title and third overall.
Mike de Bruyn