Cape Town Stadium is the venue for the duo’s first-leg semi-final fixture, yet with only 11 goals scored in 13 home games this calendar year, putting the ball into the back of the net has been the source of much frustration for City’s coach.
Yet Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goal scorer hopes this will all change this afternoon.
“When you don’t score goals, you hardly win games, so it’s a big frustration, but I’m hopeful and I’ve got good quality players,” he said. “I’m just waiting for the right game and the right moment for a change in fortune where one hits the back of the net, and the rest will follow. I’m confident that time is coming soon, as you can’t go last season and this season with the same problem. It’s not like we not working on it, so hopefully Saturday is the day our goal scoring woes come to an end.”
McCarthy says he’s studied his opponents, who he hopes to frustrate in order to gain the advantage heading into next weekend’s second leg.
“Sundowns don’t really change the way they play – they have the same system and tactics, which is attacking football and controlling the pace of the game, and they try put the game to bed as early as possible,” he said. “So we have to try keep them at bay, because the longer we don’t give them the luxury of dictating the game, the less they’re in their comfort zone, and that’s when they’re the most dangerous and difficult to play against. But the more you frustrate them, the more chances you have.”
The City coach admits he’d hoped to have met the “big boys” later in the competition, yet knows in order to win trophies, you have to beat the best at any stage of a tournament.
“The two teams deserve to be in the semi-finals, though it would have been nice to get the big boys in the final,” he said. “In football, if you want to be the best and win titles, you’ve got to be able to beat the best, so whether it’s in the semi-final or the first round, that’s what you’ve got to do to win.”
Kick-off at Cape Town Stadium is at 15h00.