McCarthy slams Sisa Dukashe pitch: 'bringing us here to East London in the middle of nowhere'

11 March 2021 - 11:44 By Marc Strydom
AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy during the DStv Premiership match between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United at Kings Park Stadium on January 17 2021 in Durban.
AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy during the DStv Premiership match between AmaZulu and Maritzburg United at Kings Park Stadium on January 17 2021 in Durban.
Image: Steve Haag/BackPagePix/Gallo Images

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy has slammed a “horrendous pitch” at Sisa Dukashe Stadium‚ where his team edged Chippa United 1-0 in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday‚ and questioned how the ground “gets approved by the league”.

McCarthy praised the character of his normally ball-playing team‚ who rode their luck at times‚ and the coach said he had to alter their gameplan significantly on the bumpy surface to earn Tapelo Xoki’s decisive 56th-minute penalty.

“You know‚ it wasn’t the prettiest. Chippa made it really hard for us to play our usual game that we are accustomed to‚” McCarthy said.

“Understandably‚ given their situation‚ hovering there at the bottom of the log.

“So we just tried to not make the mistakes playing on a pitch like this‚ which we know would cause us [problems].

“At times we got caught out ... trying to play the good‚ free-flowing football that we do‚ and then almost over-playing it‚ and the pitch not allowing us to do so.

“But you know what‚ the character the boys showed to change up the tactics‚ to play a completely different game from what we are accustomed to‚ and making it effective. At times you just have to accept football is about football and it’s about winning games – and sometimes you don’t have to make it pretty.

“And today was definitely that game. The worst footballing game where I was in charge at the football club.

“We weren’t allowed to do what we wanted to do because we had a pitch that was just horrendous.

“Why it gets approved by the league is beyond me‚ because when you have in the country the DStv Premier League that is trying to build something that makes Africa proud‚ where you have the World Cup stadium in PE‚ and then you get allowed to come and play matches at this stadium.

“But the character the players showed‚ we managed to get three points and for me that’s all that matters.”

McCarthy‚ in his post-match TV interview with SuperSport‚ suggested Chippa had taken the game to East London because they knew AmaZulu were a ball-playing team on form.

The Eastern Cape team have spread their home matches between their main home ground‚ 2010 World Cup venue Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth‚ and Sisa Dukashe.

“I can’t take the credit. The players‚ on that pitch‚ they sweat blood for the team‚ for the cause‚” McCarthy said.

“But Chippa knew – playing us in PE‚ a World Cup Stadium‚ nice football pitch‚ it’s going to be a different outcome.

“Bringing us here to East London in the middle of nowhere‚ they might have a chance.”

AmaZulu’s impressively ground-out result against Chippa continued the scintillating form since McCarthy arrived in December.

After some turnaround matches where the coach implemented his style‚ ambitious Usuthu have surged to six wins and a draw in their last seven league matches‚ and sixth place on the log.


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