CAPE TOWN – Benni Mccarthy certainly knows the value of goals - he carved out a lucrative football career for himself just by putting the ball in the back of the net with ruthless efficiency. Unfortunately, as a coach, he’s now feeling rather powerless as he sits on the bench, watching his Cape Town City side miss chance after chance.
The 40-year-old former Bafana Bafana striker was again left pulling his hair out in frustration as City’s woes in front of goal continued unabated. They lost 2-0 to Baroka FC in Polokwane on Tuesday despite dominating the entire 90 minutes. They squandered so many inviting opportunities that McCarthy was moved to comment afterwards, “some of the chances even my grandmother could have put in”.
City have now lost four on the trot - Sundowns, Chiefs, Wits and Baroka - and, if they don’t turn things around, they could find their once-promising season imploding rather spectacularly. The opportunity to get back on track is tomorrow night when they host Chippa United in a PSL fixture at Athlone Stadium (8pm kickoff), with McCarthy desperate for his players to show some composure and decisiveness in and around the penalty area.
There is no doubt the team has been playing well. The build-ups are confident, the team work swiftly and smoothly, and numerous scoring chances are created; it’s just the final finish that is lacking. Against Baroka, the Capetonians missed a plethora of opportunities, and there wasn’t just one culprit: Judas Moseamedi, Craig Martin, Lyle Lakay, Thami Mkhize, Thabo Nodada and Shane Roberts, nobody could stick the ball into the net.
“You can play beautiful football, dominate for 90 minutes, and entertain the crowd,” said McCarthy. “But if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net you won’t win games - and that is the story of our season. We played nice football (against Baroka) and I could count at least five chances that I think even my grandmother could have put in.
“And then, when you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, no matter how good your team plays, how organised the team is, when you make two mistakes it costs you two goals. If you don’t score goals, you don’t win football games. It becomes difficult and now we have a mountain to climb again. So it’s back to the drawing board, we have to continue to push forward.”
On the plus side for City and McCarthy, the performance of left wing Lakay was something for the team to build on as they prepare to face Chippa tomorrow. The 26-year-old was the creative hub of everything, drilling in pin-point crosses to set up opportunities for teammates. They just, unfortunately, couldn’t make the most of it.
McCarthy will be demanding more of the same from Lakay tomorrow, and then hope the team’s fortunes in front of goal change.