McCarthy had high praise for Zukile Kewuti's performance against Free State Stars. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – The 5-0 drubbing of Free State Stars on Wednesday night at the Cape Town Stadium was Cape Town City’s biggest win since joining the Premier Soccer League in 2016. And now Kaizer Chiefs are next on the menu.

The Citizens’ seventh win from 17 games takes their points tally to 27 and puts them in fourth place in the standings, headed by Wits (33).

City next play fifth-placed glamour club Chiefs on February 1 and will be out to set the record straight after taking a 4-1 mauling in the corresponding fixture on home turf.

And there’s no reason why the Capetonians can’t get the better of Amakhosi as they have had their number before in league and cup competition.

City head coach Benni McCarthy was more than happy with his charges’ performance against Stars, especially in the second half that produced four goals.

“It was an entertaining game, not because it was five goals, but because both teams actually went for it and never sat back. We attacked them because we knew that they play with very high fullbacks, so we tried to avoid Craig Martin and Gift Links tracking the fullbacks so that they just take up a position that they can intercept in the middle.
But they hide enough that, when we do win the ball in defence, we play them in and then they must exploit the spaces, and I think it worked out exceptionally well.

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“Even recognising that we were doing that they still stuck to their game plan, and I have to commend their new coach (Nikola Kavazovic) for making it as open as it was; he could have adjusted and restricted Nyiko Mobbie and Patrick Phungwayo from going forward when they saw that we were not tracking them back,” said McCarthy.

He had the youngster Zukile Kewuti at left-back making his first PSL start and sang the praises of the Kenyan for not letting anyone past him, and for his non-stop work-rate and calmness under pressure, his pace and for taking the liberty to go forward without being intimidated.

“He could easily have been my man of the match,” McCarthy said.

Coach Benni McCarthy hugs Roland Putsche following the match against Free Stars Stars at Cape Town Stadium. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Coach Benni McCarthy hugs Roland Putsche following the match against Free Stars Stars at Cape Town Stadium. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

But the coach’s team talk at half-time left a few players with ringing ears, because of sloppy play and rookie errors in giving the ball away too easily.

“A kick up the nutsack for a few, and that’s why you never saw Thabo (Nodada) coming back again, I hit him at the wrong angle,” quipped McCarthy.

“Seriously, though, I felt we should have been more than one goal up. I wanted to see more aggression on attack, more goals because they could have got one and here we are again being dominant without it showing on the scoreboard.

“So to come out and do that and get four was very pleasing.”

Mike de Bruyn

Cape Times

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