Return home nervy for Benni
BENNI McCarthy is nervous about making his return to his roots in the Mother City for Orlando Pirates' tricky clash against Ajax Cape Town tomorrow night.
The Pirates striker's first Absa Premiership encounter in his home town was "humiliating", with the defending champions handed a 3-0 defeat by Santos.
McCarthy, who has scored eight goals this season, said he was excited and nervous to be travelling to Cape Town for another crucial match in the Buccaneers' title chase.
The Urban Warriors will host Pirates at the Cape Town Stadium (8pm kickoff) and McCarthy, who grew up in Hannover Park, said a win for the log leaders would put them in pole position to lift the title next month.
"I am very nervous, Cape Town has not been pleasant to Pirates. I think we know what to expect but I am not going to find myself in a situation where we blow it," said the former Bafana goal ace.
"Last time I went home it was a disaster and Santos hammered us. Ajax should be wary of playing us because they will find a different Pirates with a different mindset." The defeat to Santos in March was Pirates' only league loss since Augusto Palacios took over from Julio Leal, who resigned. Pirates toppled Mamelodi Sundowns from the summit of the Premier League table for the first time since mid-December.
Ajax coach Maarten Stekelenburg admits there will be an element of revenge against the Buccaneers. Ajax were beaten to the title on the final day of last season by Bucs, while Stekelenburg is also still smarting from what he saw as an unjust result for his team when they lost 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium in November. - additional reporting by Nick Said