CAPE TOWN – A lack of consistency from his players baffles Benni McCarthy.
The Cape Town City coach can’t fathom why his charges choose to play their best football mainly in the second half.
“Maybe they enjoy a foot up their backsides before they want to play,” McCarthy said. “We saw again in the 3-0 Nedbank Cup home win over Highlands (Park) a first half where we battled to execute the tactics and nearly paid for it.
They come in at halftime and I have to be honest and tell them this is not the way I train them to play. I hear them talk about how they want to play like Manchester City and Liverpool, and they can, but not if they don’t emulate what they see and do it on a consistent basis.
“I give them the truth and then they go out and play. They pass the ball quicker, open up spaces and produce exhibition football. Game over.”
That it was. Two goals and a Highlands own goal in the space of 12 minutes tamed the Lions of the North.
Captain Thami Mkhize scored first for his second goal in the competition before a wonder goal from Craig Martin. The rightwinger found himself unmarked just outside the right side of the 18-yard area and, after gathering and controlling an attempted clearance, he hit a first-time half-volley with his left foot and saw it fly into the net, leaving Highlands goalkeeper Marlon Heugh stranded on his line.
Highlands conceded an own goal after a blunder from their goalkeeper.
McCarthy afterwards heaped praise on Martin.
“Craig comes from Kensington and to score a goal like that for us was special. We had words at the break and he came out and stuck it to me and tells me that’s what you get for taking a dig at me,” McCarthy said. It was a goal worthy of winning any game and I am happy for him.”
City gain passage to the quarter-finals and will know who they play next on Thursday.
Mike de Bruyn