CT City respond to ‘rubbish’ jibe with comeback win

The victory lifted Cape Town to eighth, one point and one place behind Celtic, who were suffering a fourth consecutive league loss.

 Surprise Ralani celebrates netting a goal against Bloemfontein Celtic. Picture: @CapeTownCityFC/Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy called his players “rubbish” at half-time and they reacted by coming from two goals behind to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-2 on Saturday in the South African Premiership.

Siphelele Mthembu ignited the second-half revival at Cape Town Stadium with a 59th-minute headed goal and Surprise Ralani netted twice within three minutes to win the match.

A blunder by Netherlands-born City goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh gifted Ndumiso Mabena an early goal and Celtic went further ahead through Given Mashikinya.

“I tore into my players at half-time,” admitted McCarthy, who was part of the Jose Mourinho-managed Porto squad that won the 2004 Uefa Champions League.

“They were rubbish during the first half and I told them so. Our supporters paid to watch us rather than do Christmas shopping or go to the beach and they deserved better.

“We performed in the second half the way we should have from the start of the match. Better late than never, I guess.”

The victory lifted Cape Town to eighth, one point and one place behind Celtic, who were suffering a fourth consecutive league loss.

In other matches, AmaZulu defeated Golden Arrows 2-0 in a Durban derby and Baroka won 1-0 at Maritzburg United in the clash of clubs who began the match occupying the last two positions.