Benni McCarthy inspires Cape Town city to MTN8 final victory

Coach Benni McCarthy has once again inspired his side Cape Town City  to MTN8 final victory over  SuperSport United at the end of  a 4-1 penalty shoot-out win, after the 2018 edition at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night had ended 0-0 after extra time.

McCarthy’s side  created  far better chances over the 120 minutes. But having failed to capitalise, it went down to penalties for the second year running between these two sides, and it was City keeper Peter Leeuwenburgh who was to be the hero of the evening as he made two saves.

In front of a crowd of around 30 000, it had been SuperSport who had the first clear chance of the evening, when Teboho Mokoena picked up Fagrie Lakay in the box, but from 12-yards out he lifted his first-time shot over the bar.

Leeuwenburgh was given a bit of work to do around the 20 minutes mark, tipping a James Keene header over the crossbar before turning a well-struck low drive from Evans Rusike around the post 10 minutes later.

The action continued in what was becoming a riveting encounter as Thabo Nodada nearly put the Cape side ahead when his shot was tipped onto the bar by Ronwen Williams before Siphelele Mthembu missed a sharp chance from close range from the rebound.

Lakay then lashed a low drive inches wide of the post for SuperSport while at the other end, Roland Putsche could have done better with a header from an Edmilson cross.

Ayanda Patosi squandered another opportunity for the Citizens when he side-footed over from 14-yards out after being invited to shoot by Gift Links.

There was yet another opening for City a couple of minutes after the interval in Durban when after a swift counter, Links’ cross picked out Craig Martin perfectly, but his looped header flew over the bar.

It was Edmlison’s turn in the 56th minute as again the Cape team threatened, but the score-line remained unchanged after Williams pulled off a sharp reflex save with his feet to keep out the Mozambique international’s low shot.

As proceedings moved into the final 20 minutes and the rain started to come down harder, the chances dried up as both sides became wary of conceding a late goal.

The game was there for the taking though and the outstanding Links was extremely unlucky no to snatch an 85th-minute winner when his sublime volley cannoned back off the crossbar – as the woodwork denied City for a second time.

The Citizens were on top for most of extra time and had chances through Mthembu, who was just not able to get on the end of a deflected Nodada shot before Riyaad Norodien’s 30-yard free kick whistled over.

At some point, SuperSport,  could have stolen victory with the final play of the match when Aubrey Modiba’s free-kick located Clayton Daniels, but from close range he headed straight at Leeuwenburgh.

To penalties, it went and the Cape club’s former Ajax Amsterdam keeper grabbed the limelight as he saved both Bradley Grobler and Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s spot kicks.

 

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