Cape Town – Cape Town City edged Polokwane City 1-0 in their MTN8 quarter-final clash at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
On the balance of play, the Citizens deserved the victory but were extremely wasteful in front of goal.
Benni McCarthy enjoyed a solid but unspectacular start to his managerial career with the Blue and Gold Army – but will no doubt be pleased with the win.
The defensive shape and organisation from the home side provided a good basis for last season’s surprise packages and in attack thy showed glimpses of their individual quality.
With Teko Modise pulling out with a muscle strain just before kick-off, Thabo Nodada was roped into the starting XI and the diminutive midfielder gave a good account of himself next to Roland Putsche.
Captain Lebogang Manyama and forward Lyle Lakay also produced industrious performances, creating a number of chances early in the first-half but often found George Chigova in an uncompromising mood.
McCarthy would have felt hard done by in the 26th minute when he saw his goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters make a wonderful save at one end – before a swift breakaway ended up with Lehlohonolo Majoro finding the back of the net. However, it was ruled off side.
Ten minutes later, the home supporters were treated with their first goal of the season and McCarthy’s tenure, albeit in an unexpected circumstance as Sibusiso Mbonani looked to head the ball away from a corner but looped over the head of Chigova.
In the second-half the game lacked real fluency which was expected in the first outing for the season of both sides but Rise and Shine head coach Bernard Molekwa can be excited about his attack force as the season progresses with Tlolane, Rodney Ramagalela and Thobani Mncwango amongst his forward options.