Benni McCarthy during the match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City at Loftus Versveld in February. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City are still strongly in the hunt for PSL honours with seven rounds to go.

Third-placed City (39 points) will be aiming for a hat-trick of league wins when they entertain sixth-placed Polokwane City at Cape Town Stadium tonight (8pm kickoff). 

Should they bag all three points, they will leapfrog Orlando Pirates into second place and be only a point behind defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who they defeated 2-1 last time out on home soil during a run of three games in the space of a week (two wins, one defeat).

The come-from-behind wins over former leaders Wits and Sundowns, who had only been beaten once before this season, is evidence enough to suggest that City are title contenders, not pretenders.

The possibility of three trophies being won this season is a distinct possibility for the Capetonians.

They’ve already triumphed in the MTM 8 and will look to go all the way in the Nedbank Cup. They are through to the last eight and take on Kaizer Chiefs.
“Wouldn’t that be something if City were to win three trophies,” said head coach Benni McCarthy. “But we’re all about taking it one game at a time. There have (been) some great results over big teams in the league and the boys can feel very proud of that.”

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Now for the threat posed by Polokwane, where McCarthy sees a tough contest playing out.

“I want to see us score first and take a lead into the halftime break. We must dictate the game on our terms, not theirs. Our opponents arrive without a loss in their last five games and I’m sure (they) will have studied the way we play, so we must guard against that by being sharp with our game plan from the start. 

I want to shed this ‘comeback kids’ tag we’ve inherited,” McCarthy said. “I want to see us play two halves of football, not just one period that in most cases is the final 45 minutes.”

In-form striker Kermit Erasmus must be City’s go-to-man. The South African international has scored three goals in as many games, the first two with his left and right boot. The 28-year-old, who made his professional debut for SuperSport United as a teenager, arrived at City in December and, after a slow start, looks the real deal. 

His growing partnership with another new signing in the form of midfielder Chris David is set to produce something special as the season begins to wind down.

Then there is the likes of wingers Riyaad Norodien and Surprise Ralani to create havoc among defenders with their skill and pace.

Defending their final third remains a concern and McCarthy no doubt will be thinking long and hard on who to pick tonight.

Mike de Bruyn

Cape Times

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