Benni McCarthy (head coach) of Cape Town City
Tuesday Mar 20, 2018. 17:00
Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy says he is relieved to have exited the CAF Confederation Cup following a violent encounter with Costa do Sol.
The South African side were beaten 2-1 at home this past weekend to exit the continental competition on the away goals rule, yet it was the nature of the game more than the result which made headlines.
There were dangerous tackles, skirmishes on the field and even a bust-up between McCarthy and his counterpart Fabio Costas.
“It was more like a Sunday league gangster game,” McCarthy said after the match, as quoted by Kick-Off.
“It ended up being really physical and intimidating for the younger players, and that’s why I opted for the senior players.
“But it didn’t work and didn’t go accordingly, and I think we lost it in midfield because we didn’t have Teko [Modise], [Roland] Putsche or [Thabo] Nodada there – we played a centre-back [Kwanda Mngonyama] who grew into the role too little too late, I’m afraid.”
The experience is one McCarthy would rather forget, admitting that he will be happy to get back to domestic football where the officials crack down on violent play.
“There was more going on outside than inside the game,” he said. “I’ve never been in game with so many fights, and the referee had no control over the game.
“I was scared of losing some of my players for the rest of the season because of the tackles flying in, and the referee just doing absolutely nothing.
“I know people will hate or criticise me for this, but maybe us going out is a blessing as at least I know my players will be safer in the Nedbank Cup and in the league as I think our officials have way more control over the games than this.
“If this was a PSL game, they would have had two or three players sent off just in the first half.
“It’s unfortunate for the fringe players who haven’t played many games in the league, but a blessing now that we don’t have to travel outside of South Africa.
“But it was a good learning curve and nice experience, and hopefully Champions League football will be better, though I’m not sure if I can say the same for the match officials.”