CAPE TOWN - Goals have been in short supply for Cape Town City as they head into Wednesday night's Absa Premiership encounter against Free State Stars at Athlone Stadium (7.30 kick-off).
In the last 270 minutes of football, the Cape side have yet to score a goal. Not surprisingly, those three games ended in defeat because, as the cliche goes, goals win games.
City coach Benni McCarthy has been vocal about the need for his team to create more and score more, and it will certainly have been the main item on the agenda at training and team talks in preparation for the Stars game.
Much-travelled striker Victor Obinna was brought in this season to add more thrust to the attack but, because he hasn’t played in a while and was not as yet match fit, McCarthy has had to play the forward sparingly.
It does look, though, as if the player is getting sharper with every game.
The 30-year-old Nigerian, who has had spells with Chievo and Inter Milan in Italy, Malaga in Spain, West Ham United in England, Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia and MSV Duisburg and SV Darmstadt in Germany, is a good mate of McCarthy, with the two having played together at West Ham.
He has one goal in the Premier Soccer League, against neighbours Ajax Cape Town in September, and he started in last weekend’s Telkom Knockout defeat to Baroka FC in Polokwane, with the team’s other striker Lehlohonolo Majoro rested.
While Obinna had a few openings against Baroka, he wasn’t able to make the most of them and City crashed to their fourth successive defeat.
The Nigerian, though, remains upbeat about his team, despite the current setbacks, and is confident they will bounce back, not just against Stars tonight but for the rest of the season too.
“I believe in myself, the players and the team,” said Obinna. “I just think that collectively, we need to believe a bit more. This club is less than two years old and it takes time to develop the cohesion and understanding needed.
"When the goals come, they won’t stop. With time, we will score more. It’s great to be here, I was really happy to join this team. The past few weeks have been intense for me. I didn’t have a pre-season, so it has been hard work. I have been pushing myself to get to the level of fitness required. Everybody at the club has helped me to settle. I believe in this team, that is why I am here.”
Obinna: “I believe so much in the team and believe that when the goals start coming‚ they will never stop. We are working hard on this." pic.twitter.com/uxanDnPnkp
Obinna is also adamant that he hasn’t signed for City with grand ambitions. He’s just happy to make a contribution; he’s secure in the comfort of the team dynamic and is eager to play his part in making City a success.
“Importantly, I’m not here to challenge anyone; I’m here to support,” he said. “My objective is to help and support the team with my experience. I want to contribute and give my maximum. Whether I play or not, I’m just happy to support the team and my teammates.
“I’ve played in different countries for different teams; I’ve learnt a lot during my career and I just want to bring that knowledge and experience to the lads in the team.”
Meanwhile, the other Mother City PSL club, Ajax Cape Town, are just as short of goals and confidence.
They are in Rustenburg for a PSL fixture against Platinum Stars tonight (7.30), when head coach Stanley Menzo’s desperation to get his team winning on the road continues.
Ajax’s form away from home has been dire over the last few seasons, and now, coming up against former coach Roger de Sa’s improving Platinum side, they can expect another difficult, daunting away fixture.