McCarthy delighted with City's five-star performance over Stars
Free State Stars suffered a quick double blow which effectively ended the contest, midfielder Sibusiso Hlubi was given a straight red after a dangerous tackle on Mkhize again.
CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City FC thumped Free State Stars 5-0 at the Cape Town Stadium and in doing so recorded their biggest ever Absa Premiership victory since inception 2016.
Austrian Roland Putsche scored a brace to set up the win, scoring the opener with a neat header from a corner. City took that lead into the half-time break but it was not a comfortable lead as Stars themselves were looking to be offensively minded leading to an open match from the first 45.
It took seven minutes in the second half for Putsche to double City’s lead and score his second of the match from the penalty spot.
Captain Thami Mkhize, on a marauding run, was adjudged to have been fouled by the Stars defender in the box.
Stars suffered a quick double blow which effectively ended the contest, midfielder Sibusiso Hlubi was given a straight red after a dangerous tackle on Mkhize again.
Struggling to cope, Stars conceded a third and City’s tricky winger Links scoring a brace of his own either side of Siphelele Mthembu’s close-range finish. Links got his second goal of the game and the fifth for City just three minutes from time. His opposite winger Craig Martin won the man of the match for his three assists.
The red car for City’s defender Taariq Fielies in stoppage time was the only sour note for the home side.
City moved to the fourth spot on the log with 27 points from 17 matches, and they take on SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup last-32 round next.
While Stars sit on 16 points from 14 games, they remain in 13th place on the same date.
McCarthy says his half time pep talk was vital.
“My half-time team talk tone was different from nice and the praises and the excellent first-half. So, I said we’re 1-nil up, it’s good but we got to have aggression even when we attack when we have the ball because at times I felt it was sloppy.”
Careful not to repeat their mistakes, McCarthy wanted intensity in the second half.
“They saw that I wasn’t joking. I was happy that we were 1-nil up but I wanted the response, not the same crap that we did when we played Baroka where we drew a game that was easily winnable for us.
“And then took 1 point instead of getting 3. I’m happy that they took the advice and they came out with aggression.”
McCarthy hopes this a reminder of his team’s talents.
“We scored five goals, so I hope this is a lesson for these boys that if they up their performances, even if it’s just 5 or 10%, how they outrun the opposition, how they outsmart the opposition and how they outscored them as well.
“So, I’m very delighted with the biggest win so far for the team.”
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)