Benni McCarthy. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/SHAUN ROY
Benni McCarthy. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/SHAUN ROY

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has slammed a “horrendous pitch” at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London‚ where his team edged Chippa United 1-0 in the Premier Soccer League on Wednesday‚ and questioned how the ground “gets approved by the league”.

McCarthy praised the character of his team‚ who rode their luck at times‚ and said he had to alter their game plan significantly on the bumpy surface.

“You know‚ it wasn’t the prettiest. Chippa made it really hard for us to play our usual game that we are accustomed to‚” McCarthy said.

“So we just tried to not make the mistakes playing on a pitch like this‚ which we know would cause us [problems]. At times we got caught out ... trying to play the good‚ free-flowing football that we do‚ and then almost overplaying it‚ and the pitch not allowing us to do so.

“But you know what‚ the character the boys showed to change tactics‚ to play a completely different game from what we are accustomed to‚ and making it effective. At times you just have to accept football is about football and it’s about winning games — and sometimes you don’t have to make it pretty.

“And today was definitely that game. The worst footballing game where I was in charge at the club,” said McCarthy.

“We weren’t allowed to do what we wanted to do because we had a pitch that was just horrendous.

“Why it gets approved by the league is beyond me because when you have in the country the DStv Premier League that is trying to build something that makes Africa proud‚ where you have the World Cup stadium in Port Elizabeth [Gqeberha]‚ and then you come and play matches at this stadium.”

McCarthy‚ in his post-match TV interview‚ suggested Chippa had taken the game to East London because they knew AmaZulu were a ball-playing team on form. The Eastern Cape team have spread their home matches between their main home ground‚ the 2010 World Cup venue Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha, and Sisa Dukashe.

AmaZulu’s excellent result against Chippa continued their scintillating form since McCarthy arrived in December.

After some turnaround matches during which the coach implemented his style‚ the ambitious Usuthu have surged to six wins and a draw in their past seven league matches. They occupy sixth place on the log.


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