CAPE TOWN - After another admirable performance of defiance in the face of relentless pressure, Cape Town City got the new PSL season off to a positive start with a 1-0 win over champions Wits in Johannesburg on Friday.
It’s still early season, but the superb defensive organisation and stubborn refusal to give in hammered home the point that City will again be a team to be reckoned with this season.
But the euphoria of the victory has, no doubt, already been placed in the past because the Capetonians have a busy week ahead. On Wednesday, they will have to be ready for Platinum Stars (7.30pm) in a league clash and, on Sunday, they’ll be up against Wits again (3.30pm), this time in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-finals. Both games are scheduled for the Cape Town Stadium.
While it’s always great to grind out wins against top opposition like Wits, new City coach Benni McCarthy will be expecting more from his team on Wednesday, especially in attack.
“We didn’t want to play Wits and just defend and knock long balls, but under the circumstances we had to frustrate them,” said McCarthy. “We knew we would get our opportunities; we got the goal from a set-piece and it was fantastic.
"I don’t care how we win as long as we win and that’s what I said to the team. The players fought and, for me, they were deserved winners. We came away victorious - it’s one league game gone and, when you get three points against the champions, you’ll be smiling.”
But, before the former Bafana Bafana striker plots his strategy for Wits in the Cup this weekend, he has a tricky league fixture against Platinum to negotiate.
Last season, City came unstuck at home against the Rustenburg team and they will do well to be at their best on Wednesday.
As usual, in that win over Wits last Friday, it was the excellent team ethic that was quite evident. Again, as was the case last season, each and every individual got stuck in and made a contribution to the success of the whole.
But while City were defensively sound and resilient, McCarthy still needs to see more of the possession-based, attacking style of football he promised.
Football is about results, that’s a given, but the 39-year-old, in his debut season as a head coach, would probably love his team to deliver a bit more of the fantastic offensive play that made the club such a sensation last season. Platinum, at home on Wednesday, is certainly a good place to start.