The two teams played out a goalless draw in a less-than-enthralling match-up at Cape Town Stadium on the weekend, with both units failing to make the most of their chances in front of goal.
Yet with the encounter drawing to a close with the score at 0-0, Arrows midfielder Venter missed a guilt-edged chance to bury the ball home as he dragged his shot off-target with just the keeper to beat.
Venter provided the assist to Lerato Lamola’s winner when the two sides last met in the Mother City earlier this year, with McCarthy grateful that the midfielder saved City’s blushes as the two sides settled for a share of the points.
“I think it’s two points lost for me,” McCarthy said after the match. “As much as they came to sit and try and frustrate us by playing on the counter, which is their game plan – trying to suck us in and hit us with the pace of [Nduduzo] Sibiya and Lamola – I think we dealt with that fairly well, but in the end, the way they missed their last chance is beyond me!
“So I was glad in the end, as it would have been another two out of two sucker-punches by the same team, because last season we dominated them as well, but came home with nothing. Saturday was almost a carbon copy, but I have to thank Venter for missing, but that’s the story of South African football – players [missing] in front of goal.”
McCarthy says preferred striker Siphelele Mthembu was missed at the other end of the pitch, and admits being left frustrated by replacement Matthew Rusike.
“If 'Shaka' [Mthembu] was fit, then it could have been a completely different outcome,” McCarthy said. “He was injured in a massive tackle in the Maritzburg game, and didn’t recover in time so we didn’t want to force it‚ to try and make him play through the injury.
“Matthew did well, except for not getting into areas where he should have been at the end of those balls played in.
“What I have asked of my strikers is to play in the big box and not drifting out wide because you want to be involved where the ball is.
“But he was almost like a bit of a magnet – where the ball was‚ he was‚ but then when we get great balls in [to the box] our striker was in the wrong place‚ so that was a bit frustrating.”
City have been given Monday off and will regroup on Tuesday ahead of Saturday’s first-leg MTN8 semi-final at home to Mamelodi Sundowns.