In his third game for the Citizens, the powerful forward used his strength and superb ball control to hand his club the lead in Saturday’s 2-0 derby victory over Ajax Cape Town, opening his account for his new Cape club to the delight of his former teammate and now coach.
“I am very happy for Obinna – you can see his quality and intelligence, his movement, how he holds the ball up and lets other players in – that's why I brought him here,” McCarthy said. “I am happy he got a goal and we were able to win the game. He hasn’t played for so long, but you can’t doubt his talent.”
Obinna celebrated his goal with an elaborate somersault, but was then substituted at half-time, with his coach explaining the reasoning for his decision.
“I think sometimes he forgets he’s 30 years old, and no longer 21,” McCarthy said. “When he scored, he said he felt something, but then he went and did flips like that – for a 30-year-old! He said he had felt a pop in his groin, and that flip must have then added to that, so as a concerned coach, I want all my players ready for my first managerial final, so I didn’t want to take any chances and took him off.”
McCarthy added that this was also the reason he left in-form scorer Lehlohonolo Majoro on the bench for the derby as he looked to preserve him for this month’s MTN8 final against SuperSport United.
“The only reason why Majoro didn’t start was because this week in training, he got a knock on his right knee and at times you see in training that he does limp and he comes in and out, so I didn’t want to take that risk with him missing another final,” he said.
“Last year, for the Telkom he missed the final and as a player, especially now that you have played and scored the vital goals for your team to get there, and not to be part of that final, it is a killer.”
The MTN8 final will be City’s next fixture after the international break, set for Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 14 October.