Cape Town — Benni McCarthy’s first reaction was one of relief as his Cape Town City team kicked off the new Premier Soccer League season with a home victory over SuperSport United.
The victory gave City a boost of confidence to take on Baroka FC in midweek and Maritzburg United for next weekend’s MTN8 quarterfinals.
"The monkey is off my back," McCarthy said after the match.
He was pleased with a full haul of points after a cracking half volley from Roland Putsche put City ahead after 55 minutes and substitute Craig Martin made it 2-0 in the second half for a full haul of points.
Aubrey Modiba had a horror miss for SuperSport that should have brought them back into the game and James Keane was brought down for a clear penalty that was not awarded by referee Khulisane Qongqo.
City dominated possession as SuperSport waited to catch them on the counterattack but they did not really test Ronwen Williams until after halftime.
"I wanted us to start off well from the get-go … but our first passes were sloppy and we allowed them to get into the game‚" McCarthy said.
"We knew that they were going to try and press us high because they know that we want to try and play out from the back," he said.
"We kept our composure and played through their pressing," McCarthy said.
"I said to them at halftime, ‘It looks like we are training still’ because we weren’t penetrating. It was nice football but it was all in front of the opposition."
After the break‚ McCarthy wanted his wingers to get behind the SuperSport defence.
"We know Morgan [Gould] and Clayton [Daniels] are two very good‚ very experienced central defenders that clean up everything in front of them. But if the ball goes behind them‚ turning will be a problem for them. That’s exactly what happened.
"We got Surprise [Ralani] in … forcing their defence to shift over. And then when you score a goal like that you have to go on and win the game. [It was] a fantastic strike by Roland."
Near the end‚ City allowed SuperSport back into the game as they became sloppy.
SuperSport brought on James Keane and Fagrie Lakay as they adopted a direct attacking approach.
"I started getting a bit angry and frustrated with the guys because we started inviting them to get back into the game by making sloppy little passes‚ little mistakes that can be costly‚" McCarthy said.