Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy gestures during a Premiership match. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - Goals remain the major stumbling block to Cape Town City’s continued presence among the challengers for this season’s PSL title. To be brutally honest, City could have been in a far healthier situation had they finished off more of the plethora of scoring opportunities they create in every game. A case in point being last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Bloemfontein Celtic when they should have been out of sight in the first half, only for the opposition to snatch a point in the second.

Now, with City set for a top-of-the-table clash with Mamelodi Sundowns at Athlone Stadium on Friday night (8pm kickoff), there is no doubt they can ill-afford to keep squandering scoring chances. Good opponents will punish profligacy and there is no argument that Sundowns are not a very good side. If City are to continue in the same vein on Friday, by being wasteful in front of goal, they will be blown away. In short, the Capetonians have to bring along their scoring boots.

The irony of it all, it has to be said, hovers like a heavy rainy cloud over the squad. In Benni McCarthy, the coach, City have one of South Africa's most celebrated goal-getters, yet his team is patently unable to score with a consistency. City’s results this season are laden with 1-0 wins and hard-luck stories - and, while it may not be too bad with regards to their current log position, who knows what the scenario could have been had they been more clinical and decisive in attack.

This season, the onus in offence has been shouldered by Nigerian Victor Obinna and Ghanaian-American Nana Akosah-Bempah. While they have shown some spark in patches, they haven’t really looked like they will set the league alight with regards to scoring. City beefed up this department during the transfer window with three new strikers - Kenyan Masoud Juma, Ugandan Allan Kateregga and Zimbabwean Matthew Rusike - but indications are that they are not yet ready for action, and won’t line up against Sundowns. Juma is still nursing a troublesome ankle, which City knew about before bringing the player to the Mother City; and Katerrega will be allowed some time to adapt to his new surroundings before being called upon. So where does that leave McCarthy and his assistant Vasili Manousakis?

Manousakis will again run the show from the bench, while McCarthy serves the second of a two-match ban in the stands. It will, more than likely, again be left to Obinna or Akosah-Bempah to carry the can up front; McCarthy could also decide to use back-from-injury forward Judas Moseamedi or even midfielder Sibusiso Masina as a striker; or he could perhaps decide to be bold by trying midfielder schemer Ayanda Patosi as the front man.

Cape Times

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