McCarthy heaps praise on Matthew Rusike

Zimbabwe international forward Matthew Rusike needed just two minutes to reintroduce himself to the South African Premiership as he scored a beautiful header to help Cape Town City beat Bidvest City in a Nedbank Cup first round match on Wednesday night.

Matthew Rusike
Matthew Rusike

The forward was thrown straight into the starting XI by Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy and responded to that with a beauty of a header for the only goal of the match.

McCarthy was pleased with the way his side grinded out the victory over Bidvest Wits and reserved special praise for Rusike as the kind of forward he had been looking for all season.

The Citizens made it four wins from four games against the Clever Boys this season. The visitors took the lead inside two minutes through Rusike and looked to close shop in the cold and wet conditions in Johannesburg.

McCarthy conceded that it wasn’t the most exciting game of football, but explained that his initial game-plan was disrupted by the weather, as well as the early goal.

“There was no shut up shop. The pitch got heavy and I think the rain came at the wrong time because I looked for a good game of football,” said McCarthy.

“I certainly wanted to play, that’s why I went with Ayanda Patosi, Teko Modise, Roland Putsche, Lyle Lakay, Sibusiso Masina, Matthew Rusike – who I’m trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible, so I needed to play him from the start and for as long as possible.

“But the rain just set both teams back and when we scored, it was an invitation to give Wits the room to come at us.

“It’s not how I would have liked us to play, but there’s not much you can do from the side. The players dropped off and allowed Wits to really come at us and test our defence, which they got through a couple of times, but fortunately, we held it down pretty well.

“I’ve got to give compliments and all the credit to my players for really grinding out (the result). If they say ‘smash-and-grab’, this is the real smash-and-grab and I’ll take it.”

The former FC Porto striker added that sometimes grinding out the result is more important than impressing with the performance, which showed when they lost 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend.

“We try and play beautiful, entertaining football, so I don’t think people can really complain about the smash-and-grab today, because against Sundowns we gave people a show,” he added. – Sports Reporter/Kick-Off.