Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy knew Orlando Pirates’ weakness
Posted: 15 March 2018 Time: 12:00
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy was elated that his plans against Orlando Pirates worked to perfection after dumping his former team out of the Nedbank Cup.
The Citizens emerged 1-0 victors over the Buccaneers at a wet and misty Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening, with Ayanda Patosi’s 55th-minute strike securing his side’s passage into the quarter-finals.
Patosi’s goal came after Surprise Ralani burst into space down the left before squaring the ball for his teammate to finish – a tactic that had been planned for by the City technical team.
“With the form Prates are in, it was great to see the boys put out such a brave performance, stand their ground, go toe to toe and not be intimated,” McCarthy said after the game. “Pirates have a lot of strengths, they’ve been playing amazing football, but there were also some weaknesses which we saw and tried to exploit, and that’s where the goal came. Their full-backs push really high up the pitch and play like wingers, making their centre-backs drop out wide, so we knew if we could get [Lyle] Lakay and Surprise into those areas where the full-backs have left spaces, we would get some joy.
“From there it was about putting the ball into the right areas and having numbers joining – and Patosi had energy to get there, be calm and slot the ball away.”
McCarthy felt his side controlled the game thereafter, and was “ecstatic” to hold on to the 1-0 lead.
“The quality that Pirates possess, they were also going to come and put us under pressure, but we handled it, and we controlled the game,” he said. “There were one or two moments where there was a bit of anxiety and we allowed them to get in and possibly equalise, but our defenders were in the right place at the right time, and our defence was unbelievable. And fortunately for us, we progressed, which we are ecstatic about.”
City now join fellow Cape Town club and only non-Absa Premiership side Ubuntu Cape Town FC, alongside Mamelodi Sundowns, Bloemfontein Celtic, Maritzburg United, Kaizer Chiefs, Free State Stars and Baroka FC in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals, with the Last 8 draw set to take place in Cape Town on Thursday evening.