McCarthy involved in tunnel bust-up as Cape Town City crash out of Confed Cup
A feisty Benni McCarthy handed out a slap and was involved in a tunnel bust-up with the coaches of Mozambican club Costa do Sol as Cape Town City lost a tempestuous tie at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday to be knocked out of the African Confederation Cup.
The City coach was involved in a touchline war of words with the opposing bench in the first half that then escalated into a punch-up where he slapped Arturo Faria, the technical director of Maputo club.
McCarthy then confronted his opposite number Fabio Costas in the tunnel at half-time, barging his shoulder into the Argentine and trading insults in Spanish.
It all went unseen by Ethiopian referee Belay Tadesse, whose failure to punish some bone-crunching tackles by both clubs saw tempers spill over several times.
The players also traded blows on the field in four separate skirmishes, notably after a horror tackle left Thabo Nodada bleeding from the mouth.
The game ended 2-1 to Costa do Sol who advanced on the away goals rule after losing to City in the first leg 10 days ago in Maputo.
Tshepo Gumede handled the ball as he attempted a tackle in his own penalty box to give away a penalty right at the start of the match.
The spotkick was hammered against the crossbar by Isac but Terrence Tisdell followed up with a diving header to direct the rebound into the back past Shu-Aib Walters.
The penalty came after an initial midfield slip up by Kwanda Mngonyama, who was playing in the centre of midfield in a makeshift side but struggled throughout the game with insult added to injury in the second half when he was booked for a tackle that was committed by Zukile Kewuti.
Kewuti, who is yet to make his Premier Soccer League debut, equalised for City in the 15th minute after Nodada had burst down the right, played it inside to Nana Akosah-Bempah, who almost lost control, before the ball went to Kewuti for an expert finish.
Nodada was one-on-one with the goalkeeper not long after but slipped as he tried to go around him and lost out on a golden opportunity.
City, even with resting regulars, were much the better team but kept up the South African habit of making life difficult for themselves against mediocre in African club competition matches.
The second half saw an atrocious kung fu style attempted tackle by City centre back Taariq Fielies on Tisdell, that brought out a collective gasp from the small crowd, but inexplicably he got away with it as the referee did not even book him.
The winner came with seven minutes to go from a corner as Walters was beaten at the back post by a power header from substitute Kimo.