Benni McCarthy wins first trophy as Cape Town City boss with MTN8 title

Sport

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy admits he thought the team would not win the MTN8 final if it went to penalties against SuperSport United again. Cape Town City won the trophy on Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium with a 4-1 victory in the shootout against Matsatsantsa.

Last year the Citizens lost the final 4-2 on penalties to SuperSport at the same venue after a 1-1 draw.

McCarthy, was on the side of the better team on the day and struck the upright through Thabo Nodada in the first half among other chances, made history by becoming the first man to win the competition as a player and a coach since MTN started sponsoring the event.

The trophy becomes the first of McCarthy’s as a head coach only clocking his second season in charge of a team.

“I think after the final whistle went my first check was that I still had hair left because I think it was the most nerve-wracking game,” said McCarthy, who won the event as a player with Orlando Pirates in 2011.

“I think last season was tough [to take[ and this was worse. As much as we were trying to be positive and keep the guys energised and constantly telling them to believe, I don’t think any of us believed ourselves because we know what happened last time. We know that it looked like Supersport were pretty comfortable with taking us to penalties, relying on Ronwen Williams who specialises in these things. And rightfully so, he’s one of the top goalkeepers we have in the country and he’s good on penalties.

“I was fearing that we go to penalties and to be honest I thought, ‘ahh, if it’s penalties we lose’. But now we’ve got another Mark Gleeson in goals on the other side so I think that gave us a little bit of an edge.

“Like I said, Peter Leeuwenburgh, he sits down with the goalkeeper coach and they study.

“But I’m disappointed that we didn’t finish the game in the 90 minutes. I think we had done more than enough football-wise and the game plan was to put the game to bed.”

McCarthy also gave credit to his  SuperSport counterpart Kaitano Tembo, who is in his first season as a head coach, acknowledged the Citizens deserved the title for their display on the weekend.

“That was very honourable of coachy, and it’s tough,” said the 40-year-old.

“I think he’s going to go through the same thing I went through last season as the first time for a head coach to lose. I think there’s big opportunities there. And when it doesn’t happen, it happens like a lottery in the manner that it did.

“But I think he’ll come back stronger because he’s got great players. You can clearly see that the players have taken to him. These guys are willing to go the extra mile for him. I think he’s got something special there and he must keep going.

 

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