Benni McCarthy pleased with gutsy DStv Premiership display

AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy waxed lyrical during his virtual post-match press conference after his side beat Chippa United 3-1 at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium, to move up to eighth position on the DStv Premiership standings on Sunday. 

The 43-year-old tactician marshalled his charges to a well-timed response following their midweek 2-0 derby heartbreak at the hands of Golden Arrows, to give the Usuthu faithful a blissful Christmas present in his first match in charge. 

A solitary strike from man-of-the-match Augustine Mulenga and a brace from an in-form Luvuyo Memela guided the club to a comeback win in Durban. 

“I think it was a lovely game of football with two teams who really went for it. It was two teams who were really in need of three points,” said McCarthy.  “To start off with, we did not play cautious football, we tried to go for it. 

“I said to the players before, to be brave, to take chances, to play with enthusiasm, to play with joy and try and be on the front foot.” 

Isaac Nhlapo fired the Chilli Boys into an early lead but AmaZulu responded in superb fashion to claim all three points. 

“It was nice to see that the players responded to the message that was coming across to them,” McCarthy added. 

“We got two great goals to get back into it and we tried to keep it steady and stable to last us until half-time, if we go 2-1 up into the half-time [break] then we could just get our foothold back into the game and that is exactly what happened.” 

Siyabonga Mbatha made a few good saves to deny Chippa after the interval and McCarthy acknowledged the goalkeeper’s contribution in build-up to Memela ultimately providing the killer blow, following a rapid counter-attack. 

“Unfortunately, we gave ourselves some problems in the second-half, too casual, too easy, too relaxing and allowing Chippa just slowly to get a foothold on the game, but Mbatha made two brilliant saves and that kept us at 2-1. Then on the transition we managed to hit them on a counter-attack and Memela got his second of the day,” McCarthy concluded.

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