Frustrated Benni McCarthy to teach his City players how to score goals

Benni McCarthy, head coach of Cape Town City reacts, issues instructions during the 2018 Nedbank Cup Cape Town City FC Media Open Day at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on 13 March 2018.
Benni McCarthy, head coach of Cape Town City reacts, issues instructions during the 2018 Nedbank Cup Cape Town City FC Media Open Day at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on 13 March 2018.
Image: ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy will put his Cape Town City side through some intensive finishing training this week as they prepare to host Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of their MTN8 semifinal at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

City wasted numerous opportunities in their 0-0 home Absa Premiership draw with Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday night‚ leaving McCarthy seething on the sidelines.

His side dominated the possession and looked slick in their build-up to the final third‚ but did not have a shot on target all game‚ leaving McCarthy to admit that more work is needed on the training ground.

“It was a frustrating evening‚” Bafana Bafana’s all-time record goalscorer said.

“It’s evident that we are a team that uses the ball well‚ we move it around quite nicely.

"We create chances but then the almighty of almighties … putting it in the back of the net.

“This week I was so confident that it was a given for us that we would get the three points because of the quality of the finishing in training.

"But today it was just the complete opposite.

“I’m disappointed with our lack of keeping composure in key elements in the game.

"We let them off the hook because this was the easiest three-pointers could have gotten at this stage‚ but we come away with a draw only. We must go back now and work on scoring goals.”

McCarthy lamented the absence of new striker Siphelele Mthembu‚ who was injured after a rough tackle in their MTN8 quarterfinal victory over Maritzburg United the previous week‚

“If Shaka [Mthembu] was fit today then it could have been a completely different outcome. But we didn’t want to force it‚ to try and make him play through the injury.”

Instead Matthew Rusike‚ who had also sat out training in the week‚ was tasked with leading the line‚ but McCarthy admitted that all too often he drifted away from where he should have been – in the Golden Arrows box.

“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‚" he said.

“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‚ that was a bit frustrating.”

McCarthy said he would give his players a couple of days off to clear their heads‚ but then it will be straight back to work to prepare for Sundowns‚ and then a league game at Free State Stars and the return leg against The Brazilians‚ all inside seven days.

“It’s been a tough period with games coming thick and fast and players having no rest‚" he said.

"We were in every day‚ so I will probably give them a couple of days off and regroup on Tuesday and see how the week goes.

“But mainly we will be focusing on finishing. I think our overall play‚ building up from the back‚ was OK and we seemed to keep the ball under pressure fairly well.

We are just missing that calmness and composure in front of goal. We didn’t even make the goalkeeper make a save.”

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