Goals not a Ma­jor con­cern for Benni

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - ROD­NEY REIN­ERS

CAPE Town City coach Benni McCarthy ad­mits he was ex­tremely frus­trated at his team’s in­abil­ity to fin­ish off the op­po­si­tion at the week­end.

The Cape side is through to the semi-fi­nals of the MTN8 af­ter a 1-0 win over Polok­wane City at the Cape Town Sta­dium on Sat­ur­day, but it should have been a far eas­ier vic­tory, though, as City squan­dered a host of scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The 39-year-old all-time lead­ing scorer for Bafana Bafana says his frus­tra­tion had him wish­ing he was out on the field, do­ing what he does best: scor­ing goals.

“I was en­ter­tained by what I saw from my team,” said McCarthy. “It was just so frus­trat­ing that we missed chance af­ter chance. Some­times I thought maybe I should put my boots on and show them how it’s done.

“Over­all, how­ever, I have to say that I don’t have too many com­plaints about the per­for­mance. We just have to make sure that we kill the game off ear­lier, so that the op­po­si­tion doesn’t hang in there to­wards the end and keep think­ing they have a chance.”

The main cul­prit for City, with re­gard to missed op­por­tu­ni­ties, was 30-year-old striker Lehlo­honolo Ma­joro. McCarthy, though, wasn’t too con­cerned – in fact, he em­pha­sised he still has faith in the player and re­mains con­fi­dent the goals will come.

“The ad­vice that I will give to Ma­joro is to keep do­ing what he is do­ing,” said the City coach. “As a striker, the big­gest prob­lem is when you are not get­ting into scor­ing po­si­tions. Miss­ing goals is part and par­cel of the game… It’s when you are not at the end of chances that you have to start wor­ry­ing. “I’m happy with ‘Ma­jor’. Sat­ur­day was just one of those oc­ca­sions… I see a lot of my­self in ‘Ma­jor’, in that, on his day, he can fin­ish off any team. There is no panic at this stage and he re­mains the main guy up front for me.

“But, at least, now the first game is out of the way and I can fo­cus ahead. As for Sat­ur­day, we wanted to win and that is what we got. I was ini­tially sur­prised by Polok­wane, but once we tweaked tac­tics a lit­tle we had their mea­sure.”

City’s need to change things tac­ti­cally was be­cause of an in­jury to vet­eran mid­fielder Teko Modise dur­ing the warmup.

“Teko’s late with­drawal changed the dy­nam­ics of how we wanted to play,” McCarthy ex­plained. “He is the player who is our trig­ger, he dis­trib­utes the passes that makes the team play. When he was in­jured, we brought in Thabo No­dada, who is dif­fer­ent to Teko in that he is more of an en­er­getic, high press type of player.

“Ini­tially we had a prob­lem with Polok­wane us­ing their two hold­ing mid­field­ers to make things hap­pen, but we then told No­dada to move higher up their field, forc­ing the op­po­si­tion’s cen­tral mid­field­ers deeper, and that took care of the prob­lem. With­out Teko, we didn’t dom­i­nate the ball as much as we per­haps wanted to, but we got over the line, we got the win.”

The PSL’s open­ing week league pro­gramme kicks off this week, with City back in ac­tion on Fri­day night when they are in Jo­han­nes­burg to take on cham­pi­ons Wits. The other Mother City PSL club, Ajax Cape Town, are at home to Golden Ar­rows at the Cape Town Sta­dium on Sat­ur­day night.

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