CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy praised his players, saying they gave their all against Chippa United in their 1-1 midweek draw at Athlone Stadium.
City opened the scoring in the seventh minute through striker Riyaad Norodien who used his pace to get in, after being set in motion by centre-back Taariq Fielies.
Chippa drew level seven minutes later courtesy of a dubious free-kick that Rhulani Manzini struck with force to leave City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh with no chance.
The awarding of it by referee Eketsang Setloboko was one of a number of decisions that upset McCarthy.
“It was a cynical foul from their side that got them level. Some of the decisions on the day, oh my Lord Almighty,” said McCarthy. “We suffer a free kick and no one tells me this guy who took it had a missile for a boot.
“I was still busy talking and then I hear the Chippa players celebrating. I never even saw the shot, it was that quick. I would like to see our wall again if the ball had hit one of our players we would have been a few players lighter.”
McCarthy felt the pitch never suited his team’s style of play, that being to pass the ball around at pace and to use width to get into goal-scoring chances.
“It was our first game at Athlone this season, a ground that we love playing at because we get great support.
“That said, it does not offer what Cape Town Stadium has and that is speed and pace and open spaces to expose defences,” he said. “Had we played this game there we would have had a different result.”
Chippa dodged a bullet. The Port Elizabeth-based side, without a win from their last six league matches, only launched the odd sortie when turning over possession.
“They could have dropped their heads when we went ahead, but they didn’t, they showed character and showed me why they will stay up in the league,” said McCarthy. “They’re a good outfit with quality players and I see them moving up the table.”
City remained in eighth place on 17 points, while Chippa moved out of the bottom two to 12th place on 11 points.
Mike de Bruyn