CAPE TOWN - Cape Town City are primed for an all-out onslaught when they face Bidvest Wits in a MTN8 semi-final, second leg tie in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon. The Cape side takes a 1-0 advantage into the match.
Even though City, under new head coach Benni McCarthy, have defeated Wits twice over the last few weeks, in the league and the Cup, the Clever Boys believe they could have won both games if they had made full use of their scoring opportunities.
As their coach Gavin Hunt said after the first leg defeat to the Capetonians: “I thought we were by far the better team. The players tried to play but it was difficult. It’s disappointing because I thought we did all the playing and City just sat in. But I guess that’s the way they play. If we had taken half our chances over the two games, we would have won by many - it could have been anything.”
Wits now have an opportunity to make good on Hunt’s words when they face City for the third time at this early stage of the season.
Over at City, McCarthy at least knows that his team is able to perform without former captain Lebogang Manyama. The 26-year-old Bafana Bafana international, who had been an integral part of the Cape side’s success last season, signed for Konyaspor in Turkey last week. The move will be official once the player passes a medical scheduled for later this week.
McCarthy dropped Manyama from the squad that beat Wits in the first leg because he believed the transfer speculation and negotiation had distracted the player.
As such, he deployed Ayanda Patosi in the free attacking role and the kid from Khayelitsha has proven to be a more than an able replacement. Having returned to the Mother City after six years in Belgium where he played for FC Lokeren, Patosi is on a mission to get his career back on track. He has made no secret of the fact that he wants to get back into the Bafana squad - and, so far, having netted in both of City’s last two outings, the bustling attacker is making good on his promise.
Against Wits on Sunday, the 24-year-old Patosi has another opportunity to step into the void left by Manyama, and to prove he has the ability and big-match temperament to ensure City won’t be hankering after their former skipper.