Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy acknowledged that his inexperience might have cost his side after not utilising one of his experienced players, Ayanda Patosi, in the MTN8 final defeat to SuperSport United.
United were crowned champions after beating City 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday. The match ended 1-1 after extra time.
The former Bafana striker‚ in his first job as a professional coach‚ also gave credit to his counterpart and former Bafana teammate Eric Tinkler, 47, admitting his experience played a big role in the outcome.
SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams‚ who saved Lyle Lakay and Judas Moseamedi’s spot kicks‚ was the hero for his side as United won their second top eight trophy and a cool R8m in prize money.
McCarthy conceded that perhaps he should have brought on Patosi in the second half to help his team’s course in what was his tenth match.
McCarthy admitted inexperience could have played a role as the end of the game was in sight with his team 1-0 up.
"I thought, let’s just close the midfield‚ close the back‚ hoping to hold on to the win.
"It would have been remarkable if I had won this cup in
my first final you know‚" McCarthy said.
His side went one up through Sibusiso Masina’s 23rd-minute goal and stayed that way with just 10 minutes left.
Although SuperSport dominated the first 20 minutes‚ McCarthy’s team finished the first half stronger with Teko Modise dictating terms in City’s favour in the midfield.
Fearing defeat‚ Tinkler made a number of substitutes‚ bringing Thabo Mnyamane‚ Dove Wome and Sifiso Myeni onto the field before the 78 minute.
Mnyamane got his team the equaliser in the 80th minute before limping off with a suspected groin injury.
Mnyamane’s injury forced Tinkler’s team to finish the game one man down and on the back foot after Thuso Phala‚ Clayton Daniels and Bradley Grobler suffered with cramps. But it will be McCarthy’s decision not to start the match with the younger Patosi, 24, instead of Modise, 34, in the playmaking role that will be questioned.
Not using Patosi at all allowed Tinkler’s side to come back into the match with Mnyamane’s equaliser.
McCarthy did bring on striker Obinna Nsofor for Lehlohonolo Majoro and Judas Moseamedi for Mpho Matsi when he had opportunities to usher in Patosi.
"I think as a coach that’s one of the faults that you have to take. I thought with us being 1-0 up and being in total control of the game‚ we were cruising. Obviously you sort of anticipate as well what the opposition do.
"They were pushing on players. So you tend to go for like for like instead of strengthening your midfield or tightening the screw at the back.
"So I think based on the subs they made‚ we also tried to equally match them. I took Modise off for [Roland] Putsche when I should have brought on Patosi," he said.