CAPE TOWN - After three wins on the trot, Cape Town City are in a buoyant mood and keen to continue their winning momentum when they tackle Highlands Park in a PSL fixture at Makhulong Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon (3.30pm kickoff).
But, while coach Benni McCarthy was happy with the 2-1 away win over Polokwane City on Tuesday night, he had words of praise for the opposition. The Limpopo Province team gave the Capetonians problems throughout the 90 minutes. Even when they had their captain, Jabu Maluleke, sent off in the 68th minute, it didn’t stop their hard work. They kept fighting and, in the end, they were unlucky not to snatch a point.
“I was happy with the result,” said McCarthy. “The team was fantastic. The plan, especially early on, was not to let Polokwane settle down - and then, when we create chances, to be clinical. That’s what we got with the early goal. After that, Polokwane were always chasing the game and we got the second goal.
“But towards the end, the team gave me a few grey hairs, but credit to Polokwane; they really came at us and put pressure on our defence. But, still, I think we were deserved winners.
“We’ve got a nice group of players going here and we are starting to show on the field what we are doing at training. It’s now three (wins) on the bounce - so it’s just onwards and upwards for us.”
Much has been discussed about City’s fluent passing style of football - but Tuesday’s victory proved that McCarthy’s men also have grit and commitment.
Tuesday’s win was founded on goals by Ayanda Patosi and Siphelele Mthembu, but the architect of the triumph was the unselfish work of industrious midfielder Thabo Nodada, who, as expected, was named Man of the Match afterwards.
“It was a difficult game,” said Nodada.
“But the early goal set us up and, when Polokwane came at us, we knew we had to work hard. So credit to the guys - in football, things don’t always go your way, which is why we applied ourselves and everyone in the team kept grinding away.
“There’s something good brewing here at City.
“And to beat Polokwane at their home ground, where they are always flying, is a great result.”
Tomorrow: Chippa United v AmaZulu
Saturday: Highlands Park v Cape Town City (Makhulong Stadium, 3.30pm); Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs; Orlando Pirates v Maritzburg United; Black Leopards v Bidvest Wits
Sunday: Bloemfontein Celtic v Polokwane City; SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns@Reinerss11