MATCHDAY: Benni’s Battle For Superiority With Hunt
MTN8 Preview - Bidvest Wits v Cape Town City 10 September
As Cape Town City prepare to take on Bidvest Wits today, Benni McCarthy will be looking to make it three from three against his former coach, Gavin Hunt.
The Citizens have played against Wits twice already this season, winning both games 1-0 at Bidvest Stadium and Cape Town Stadium respectively. In those games, McCarthy’s tactics were abundantly clear, as his team scored and immediately looked to consolidate their lead to great effect.
Looking specifically at the first leg of this semi-final, Wits took more shots and with greater accuracy, while City’s lone shot on target resulted in Ayanda Patosi’s. Wits also had 54.5% of the possession, making more than 100 more passes (488) than the Mother City outfit. They also made twice as many open play crosses (29).
However, largely thanks to City’s midfield pivot of Roland Putsche and Thabo Nodada, City won 168 balls, with Putsche winning 14 and Nodada winning 17. Effectively, Reeve Frosler and Sifiso Hlanti were taken out of the game, losing 33 and 33 balls respectively. This cut the wing backs off, taking out a major asset to the Students’ attack and forcing them to play through the middle, with McCarthy’s defence cleaning up where necessary. Between them, Robyn Johannes, Taariq Fielies and Ebrahim Seedat made 59 clearances over the course of the game. They were able to frustrate the reigning champions for the full 90 minutes in a similar manner to McCarthy’s first league game in charge, where they won by an identical scoreline.
Gavin Hunt will, therefore, be heading back to the drawing board and will hope to see Daylon Claasen and Daine Klate offer more to the team in terms of width, penetrate via the flanks and put the ball into the box for the likes of Amr Gamal, and perhaps James Keene to take advantage of through their aerial prowess.
Having played under Hunt during his playing days, McCarthy appears to understand exactly what it will take to get a win over the champions and will be hoping to kick off his coaching career by reaching this season’s MTN8 final. However, Wits aren’t champions for nothing and Hunt has proven time and time again that he has what it takes to get the best out of his team.
Who do you think will win today’s game?