CAPE TOWN – Remind Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy that he has two games to go before the end of the Premier League season and he responds in a broad Scots accent: “Cannae wait, cannae wait to get on that plane back to Scotland.”
But before he flies home he has to prepare his charges for games against top-placed Orlando Pirates at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (3pm kickoff) and Black Leopards away the following Saturday. And if they win both there would be an outside chance of winning the title - provided defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns lose at home to lowly Golden Arrows on Tuesday.
City trail Pirates and Sundowns by six points and third-placed Wits by one.
Had City not fluffed their lines against Polokwane City (0-0) and league rookies Highlands Park (1-1), McCarthy’s boys would have been all-square with the front two.
McCarthy said as much at a press conference this week after the club’s announcement of a new three-year sponsorship deal with Direct Axis.
“We’ve let ourselves down a little bit. The Polokwane game, the Highlands Park game, you look at those two games and it’s six points we threw away there,” he said. “This game now could have had such a huge different meaning for us, and for Pirates.
We would have been around the same point mark and this game would have meant everything but it still means everything to us and to the team because we’ve worked exceptionally hard this season to get ourselves into this position where we can either still challenge for the league or we can have a say in it."
THE FINAL GAME AT HOME 😎— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) May 1, 2019
You have to be there as we welcome Orlando Pirates in our last home game for 18/19, don't be told be a witness of #MonateMpolayeFINALE 😂
⚽ 💙 🆚 ☠️
📆 04 May | 15H00
🏟️ Athlone Stadium
⛈️ 🔥#MonateMpolayeFeast 🔥⛈️#iamCityFC 💙 pic.twitter.com/bWStvsTYmv
“In football there’s no favours done to anybody. Nobody does us a favour so we are not there to make favours,” he added. “It’s going to be an emotional game, it’s going to be a very tactical encounter because for Pirates it’s been five or six years that they’ve found themselves in this situation.
“The last time they did I was still at the club. That was when we knew what winning was about. But I think they’ve done exceptionally well this season and you have to give credit to the club.”
Mike de Bruyn