CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy is of the opinion that this could just be the right time to be playing Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Cape side hosts the top-class Pretoria club in a Nedbank Cup quarter-final tie at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 3pm) - and McCarthy feels that, with Sundowns gunning for the PSL title and on yet another Champions League campaign, they may just be a little distracted.
It’s gearing up to be a big weekend for football in the Mother City as two local teams take their place in the quarter-finals of this Cup competition - and, not just that, both City and Ubuntu Cape Town have been drawn at home.
National First Division (NFD) side Ubuntu are first up. After a fantastic run in the competition, in which they have already eliminated two PSL clubs in Polokwane City and AmaZulu, the Cape giant-killers now have another top-flight opponent to negotiate. Ubuntu host Free State Stars at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3.30pm)
Then, on Sunday, it’s the game that has captured the imagination of football followers when City tackle Sundowns at the former World Cup venue in Green Point. The two sides have developed a really tasty rivalry; after City’s initial superiority when they defeated the top-class Pretoria club on three occasions, Sundowns finally managed to get one over the Capetonians last month.
The Cape side recently crashed out of the CAF Confederations Cup and they see this event as a big chance to finish the season with silverware. McCarthy is looking forward to the match. He’s not too concerned about the quality of his opponents, he’s just happy that they are playing at home.
“While this is an opportunity for us to redeem ourselves after the CAF defeat, we are up against a formidable opponent in Sundowns,” said McCarthy. “But this is perhaps the right time to be playing Sundowns - they are focused on the Champions League and Orlando Pirates are breathing down their necks in the race for the PSL title.”
With McCarthy having already tasted a final in his debut season as a coach, after steering City to the MTN8 finale in October last year (they lost to SuperSport United), he is keen to go all the way again.
“For us, the Sundowns game is huge. It’s an unbelievable opportunity. We are two games away now from being in a final another final” said the former Bafana Bafana striker.
Nedbank Cup quarter-final fixtures:
Saturday: Ubuntu Cape Town v Free State Stars (Athlone Stadium, 3.30pm); Maritzburg United v Bloemfontein Celtic; Kaizer Chiefs v Baroka FC
Sunday: Cape Town City v Mamelodi Sundowns (Cape Town Stadium, 3pm)