Johannesburg — Cape Town City coach Eric Tinkler admitted that "we rode our luck" after beating TS Galaxy at home to take a huge step closer to qualifying for continental football next season.
After a decent outing on the road where they bagged five points out of a possible nine, thanks to a win over Kaizer Chiefs and two draws with Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United, City returned to the Mother City on Saturday night.
The Citizens hosted Galaxy in a six-pointer, given that three points would do either side a world of good. The hosts were looking to leapfrog, the inactive Royal AM, to the second spot on the log, while the visitors were looking to pull themselves closer to safety.
Tinkler’s men prevailed, with January signing Darwin Gonzalez opening his account for the Citizens with a sumptuous finish from open play before Mduduzi Mdantsane sealed the three points from the penalty spot later on.
Despite the win, though, Tinkler was not impressed with the overall team performance, crediting lady luck for smiling on them after being the second-best team on the night.
“Even once we got the penalty, they kept coming at us. They hit the post right towards the end. I have to say tonight, the performance, collectively, was not great. Defensively also not our best performance,” Tinkler said after the 2-0 win.
“There were a lot of mistakes in defence. We gave them too much time. We needed to press and drop off and we didn’t. They nearly punished us”
“But we rode our luck a little bit. And sometimes you’ve got to say to yourself ‘thank God for the three points even when we play ugly football’.”
Tinkler and his charges will definitely take the three points, given the fact that they are now second on the standings with 48 points, three ahead of the third place Royal AM who have a game in hand against Orlando Pirates.
If City win their last two matches of the season, they’ll surely qualify for their maiden continental competition next season via the CAF Champions League or the Confederation Cup which are guaranteed by a second or third place finish.
The Citizens will face AmaZulu and Stellenbosch in the penultimate and last round of matches this season on Saturday, May 14 and May 21.
However, Tinkler will have to stress to his charges to guard against dominance without converting chances after bemoaning that was the case in their goalless draw with Chippa on Wednesday night.
“I’ve been on the end where you work extremely hard, create so many chances and end up drawing the game 0-0 like what happened with us against Chippa,” Tinkler recalled.
“We worked so hard, we were really, really good on the ball. But the ball wouldn’t go into the net and we missed a penalty. So, I’ll take this one especially after the game against Chippa.”