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CAF Champions League

McCarthy Comments On Mazembe Draw

AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy has commented on his side’s draw against TP Mazembe in the CAF Champions League.

Usuthu failed to take a home ground advantage after a 0-0 draw at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday evening.

McCarthy said he can’t have too many complaints about his team’s performance, especially in the second half.

The former Bafana Bafana striker says the tie is not over yet, and while they face a mammoth task in the DRC, he remains confident his team are capable of pulling it off.

“I think I couldn’t have too many complaints because nobody gave us a chance, first of all, against this outfit, that is Mazembe,” McCarthy said in the post match presser.

“But I think first half, we let the occasion get to us a little bit, I think, we were very slow to everythin., so we allowed them to dictate, and ball turnovers was far too easy in the first half, too many players not adjusting to the pace and to the strength of the opposition. So, yeah, so we kind of played ourselves into trouble at first half.

“But then second half, we adjusted we opened the pitch a little bit, and there was far more movement from the players, getting in behind. Then we looked much more dangerous. And we look like we could cause a threat and maybe even get a goal.

“But it wasn’t to be, they have the experience over us. And they were just happy to play, to get a draw so that they can take this result back to Mazembe, back to DRC.

“And with everything we’re going to be facing, we’re going to be facing, with everything we’re going to be up against, I think for them going back with with a nil-nil, not conceded a goal, is is a massive bonus, it’s a massive plus.”

“But I think today, the way we played showed that we can mix it up against the best teams, because we certainly did have opportunities to cause them a lot of problems.”

McCarthy insisted that the tie is far from over and he felt that three players in particular impressed in the second half.

“But like I said, second leg, we might just grow into this contest because it’s our first time we’ve been in the situation and you could see the maturity in the first half wasn’t really there,” he added.

“We were kind of naive, but then second half, much, much better. And much more urgency and composure and calmness about us, you know, getting in, playing in and I think Qalinge, Memela, Xola Mlambo especially coming in in the second half, they changed things for us a little bit.

“There was speed, there was space, and ja, we could have maybe gotten something more from the game, but we didn’t, so at least the scores are even, if we get a goal, it’s still difficult for them.

“It’s not over yet for us. We just made it a little bit harder. A bigger hill to climb, but we got fully belief in us. I think we want to be in this competition so we know what we’re gonna have to do, to go to the Congo and execute, and do the unthinkable.”



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