Benni McCarthy celebrates scoring a goal during Cape Town City training this week. Will he be smiling at the final whistle on Saturday? Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

D-Day is almost upon Benni McCarthy and Cape Town City.

On Saturday night at 7pm, the Citizens will walk out on to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to take on SuperSport United in the MTN8 final.

Revenge will be on their minds, having lost in a penalty shoot-out to Matsatsantsa a Pitori in last year’s decider.

Then it was new coach on the block McCarthy against Eric Tinkler, who had just vacated the City job for SuperSport.

This time around, McCarthy will be up against Tinkler’s assistant from last year, Kaitano Tembo, who took over the reins on a permanent basis this season.

City won their first trophy in their first season of existence by clinching the Telkom Knockout Cup under Tinkler in 2016.

But chairman John Comitis is hungry for success, and McCarthy is eager to win his first trophy as a coach. 

They will also have the necessary support in the stands, with busloads of City fans leaving Cape Town on Friday for the long trip to Durban.

SuperSport are arguably the favourites, as they come off a 4-0 thrashing of Black Leopards last week and are fifth on the Absa Premiership log with four wins in six games.

They also have a number of current and former Bafana players in their side, such as Ronwen Williams, Dean Furman, Bradley Grobler, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bongani Khumalo, Thuso Phala, Teboho Mokoena… the list goes on.

City have registered just a single victory in six league games, but McCarthy knows that he has players such as Ayanda Patosi, Teko Modise and Thabo Nodada who can perform on a big stage such as an MTN8 final and win the game for his team.

“For me, it will be won in midfield,” he said in a video posted on the MTN8 Twitter account on Friday.

“The one that’s dominant in midfield is the one that’s going to progress because the midfielders that have the ability and the courage to get themselves forward…

“We’ve done that superbly, where we’ve seen the likes of Roland (Putsche) got himself into the box, and that’s where the goals come from.

“Both teams’ fullbacks try to eliminate the wingers of the opposition teams, because they know the dangers they possess – the speed and the trickery that both sides possess: we’ve got Teko, we’ve got Putsche, Nodada, Matsi.

“We’ve got a very strong midfield that can play, energetic players who can go in there. SuperSport also have the quality, so I think it is going to be a game where it’s the clash of the titans, to be honest.”

Both teams wrapped up their preparations with their captain’s runs at the match venue on Friday evening, so now the time for talking is almost over…

 

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