Damn, I can’t believe we lost, says Benni on Cape Town City defeat to Kaizer Chiefs

By Ashfak Mohamed at Newlands Time of article published Aug 27, 2019

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CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy says he has adopted a more relaxed approach to coaching so that he doesn’t get a “heart attack”.

But he feels he may have to go back to his old “pitbull” style after seeing his Cape Town City team go down 2-1 to Kaizer Chiefs at Newlands on Tuesday night.

Kermit Erasmus put the Citizens ahead after just four minutes in front of a lively crowd at the rugby stadium, but that was as good as it got for the home side.

They missed a number of opportunities to extend their lead, with Erasmus himself having an effort cleared off the line, while also squandering another opportunity when Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi made a good save.

City were on top in the opening 20 minutes, but Chiefs slowly forced their way back into the game.

Khama Billiat became increasingly influential, while Lebogang Manyama and George Maluleka made good use of striker Samir Nurkovic, who kept the City defence busy with his strength and pace upfront.

And while the two decisive Chiefs goals came only in the last 14 minutes – via Daniel Cardoso and Kearyn Baccus – the Amakhosi had long taken charge by then.

McCarthy battled to understand why his team had moved away from the tactics that worked in the first half.

And he wasn’t too pleased about going down at Newlands again either, as City had lost their previous match there 2-0 against Polokwane City in the MTN8 a few weeks ago – with McCarthy muttering “the curse of Newlands” as he walked into the press conference venue after the match.

“No, no, no! I was being sarcastic. Maybe there is a reason why football shouldn’t be played at Newlands – or Cape Town City at least,” the former Bafana star said.

“Ah, I wished we started slow, and finished (stronger). You start slow, and you finish high, very high.

“They (City) started like a house on fire – I think the game should’ve been over by halftime. Three or four (chances); there was an incident with Mpho Makola was played in, and I just saw the images now again… he was two yards on-side in the box, and there’s a Chiefs player there. And then the linesman flagged for offside.

“So, you take it, and then their goal was disallowed – maybe he is making up for, you know…

“But, nevertheless, very, very disappointed with how we let this one slip. How we don’t have the maturity to think when you are on the back foot, because when you play the bigger teams, there’s gonna be a point in the game where you have to sit back and absorb the pressure.

“And then be smart. But we – smart went completely out of the window. We were like clueless of what to do. We stopped playing in the first half. Even if there’s a man on top, we were passing the ball.”

McCarthy explained that Erasmus had to be replaced by Craig Martin in the 66th minute as he came into the game with a knock, but the coach felt that City were already on the back foot by then.

“I’m this pissed off for losing this game that I can’t even see clearly now, all the chances that we missed, that we wasted. Second half, they come back and be a little more direct, one or two inter-change passes, where our midfield completely disappeared,” he said.

“Mobara, Mpho Makola, Mokeke, nowhere. Non-existent, our midfield. And that Nurkovic ends up having a field day with our so-called centre-back pair, who were excellent in the first half, and then the second half…

“When you see your team does that, I genuinely don’t know what, you know. Maybe I must go back and watch last season’s videos of me at halftime, because now I’ve taken a more calm approach to coaching, because I’m going to get a heart attack if I continue at this rate!

“So, I’m a bit more calm and allow them to be free, that I’m not on their case all the time. But maybe I need to… with footballers, you need to be on their case all the time because then they come and do the second half that we did (if you are not on their case).

“For the life of me, I don’t understand how footballers think, when you have joy that works, why do you want to stop the formula?

“Keep producing the formula that gets you in! And then we just completely stopped.

“Damn, I can’t believe we lost… This ‘chillax’ approach, out the window. When I come back (after the international break), they must be aware of the pitbull – the pitbull is coming back!”


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