CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City have identified the crunch PSL fixture against Kaizer Chiefs as a make-or-break moment for their title aspirations. The two teams meet in a league encounter at FNB Stadium on Saturday night (8.15pm kickoff) - and what an occasion it’s set to be for the Cape club’s new signing, Matthew Rusike.
As it stands, the title-challengers are going to have to produce something special to catch log leaders and overwhelming favourites Mamelodi Sundowns. But City have not given up as yet - and they have targeted the clash against Chiefs as the deciding factor.
The big problem for City, which has hindered their title challenge, has been the lack of a reliable goal-getter. But last month’s signing of Zimbabwean Rusike has galvanised the team in attack. Last year, he was in Tunisia with Club Africain, until City boss John Comitis lured the forward to the Mother City during the January transfer window.
“When we signed Kenyan striker Masoud Juma, we were satisfied that we had enough up front,” explained Comitis. “But then his injury, which we knew about, turned out to be more extensive than we first realised. And, when he returns, we will have to bring him along slowly. So we sat down and decided that we needed to get a quick fix, someone who could come in and quickly grow in to the team. It came to our attention that Matthew Rusike was negotiating to leave his club in Tunisia and we jumped at the opportunity to bring him to the club.
“Rusike is a positive footballer, who always puts the opposition under pressure; he makes good runs and has a lot to offer as a player and a team man. We’ve got him on a one-and-a-half-year contract with an option to renew - and, based on what he has done so far, on and off the field, I think he’s going to be with us for longer than that. Between Rusike and Juma, when he comes back, we have great competition up front, and it solves our scoring problems.”
As for the Chiefs clash on Saturday, Comitis has no doubt that nothing less than three points will suffice.
“If we are to continue to challenge for the title, then this is the game,” said the City owner. “I’ve already had a meeting with Benni (McCarthy, head coach), and we know this is the last roll of the dice - if we win here, it puts the other teams under pressure. And you know what pressure does to teams; you saw how Sundowns struggled against NFD side Cape Town All Stars last week. So this is it, we are going all out; this is a game we simply cannot afford to lose.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday night Stellenbosch FC host Highlands Park in a Nedbank Cup clash at Athlone Stadium (7.30pm kickoff).