The Citizens scrapped through to the final of the MTN8 Cup, beating the Brazilians 4-2 on penalties on Sunday after the score remained 1-1 on aggregate after 90 minutes.
“It was a tough one, I think the boys gave it their all. We were up against a resilient and strong Sundowns team. They probably had the better chances to kill it off but when we went 1-0 down I said to the boys “we have nothing to lose, we keep on playing, we’ve been in these situations [before] and we can overturn it,” McCarthy told SuperSport TV.
“We were just unfortunate not to get back into it, a tremendous run by Craig Martin and an [equally] tremendous save from Denis [Onyango] to prevent us from going 1-1. Then it’s a completely different game, justice in the end.
“Penalty shoot-outs are a lottery, from last season I know the headache of losing in the final. So I feel for Pitso and his boys. They did enough to go through but unfortunately it was not meant to be,” he said.
The former Bafana Bafana marksman says he is relishing the repeat of last year’s final.
“Now it’s the repeat of last year’s final. We’ve got an uphill battle, I have to give them a well deserved rest and we focus on the next one against Kaizer Chiefs. Now we keep the final out of our minds and focus on our next league game against Chiefs,” he said.
McCarthy also revealed that his charges knew the weak spot of Masandawana goalkeeper Denis Onyango in the penalty shootouts.
“I don’t know what’s in the camp but the goalkeeper and the players did analyse a few [of Denis Onyango’s penalty shootouts] and they did see that Denis is much stronger going to his left so we figured if we hit it side net to the right then we might be in with a chance. And fortunate enough everyone did not forget what was spoken to go the right of Denis,” he concluded.