After taking AmaZulu up to second place in the DStv Premiership table, Head Coach Benni McCarthy says that he is proud and very happy for the Zulu Nation.
AmaZulu scored a late goal through Thabo Qalinge on Friday, to steal a 1-0 win away against Stellenbosch, a result that handed Usuthu a sixth straight win in the league.
McCarthy admits his team were a bit lucky to get away with that result, but he is very proud of how his side has been performing, and was delighted for Qalinge, who scored in just his second appearance for the club.
“It was a tough game, very difficult game, difficult ground to come to, Stellenboch, you know, they are very fit, very physical, very quick, a lot of speed in their team,” McCarthy told the club’s media department.
“So ja, and I think our travels to Thohoyandou, and then three days back in Durban and then traveling to Cape Town didn’t really help our recovery process, our recovery phase. And ja, you could see, first half, we were decent, we were okay. I thought we had opportunities we had, chances where we could have get one or two in there, but we didn’t.”
The former Cape Town City coach, who has been linked with the vacant Bafana Bafana role, took over at AmaZulu in December, and when he was appointed the club were eleventh, with just one win in six games.
“And then second half, Stellenbosch came out, and then they really made a game of it, and I think ja, if they had taken their opportunities, they could have probably walked away with the three points because they had glorious chances to score, but lady luck was on our side.”
“And now we go six games, a clean sheet for Veli, so that is amazing. That is an amazing record. And the resilience of the team paid off. Because we never gave up.”
“We knew it wasn’t our best moment in the second half. Because Stellenbosch were making it really difficult for us. So we made the positive changes, and very pleased for Section 10, to have come in, and he looked lively, looks like he’s a player who can give us the extra edge. And that’s exactly what he showed today. Composure with opportunity, and then ja, to score the winning goal for us and give us all three points.”
“I can only be proud of the players, for the effort, for their hard work, for their dedication, so ja, so I’m very, very happy coach, even though it wasn’t our best game, but sometimes you don’t have to play the best football to win matches, you know, and three points is important.”
“So now we go to 40 points. And, it’s just happy days and happy for the Zulu Nation. Because to find AmaZulu at second place in the log with eight games to go. It’s so remarkable. It’s something that’s unfamiliar with AmaZulu. So I hope they are proud of this team, and what this team is doing at the moment for KwaZulu-Natal.”