Caf Champions League: McCarthy tells those who did not enjoy AmaZulu to switch to Winter Olympics

8:04 AM GMT 19/02/2022
Benni McCarthy & Makhehlene Makhaula, AmaZulu FC, March 2021
Luvuyo Memela’s first-half strike saw Usuthu registering their first goal and win of the group stage of this competition

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy says they should not be regarded as “novices’ in the Caf Champions League as he lauded his team’s 1-0 Group B win over Horoya AC at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.

After starting this phase of the competition with a 1-0 defeat away at Raja Casablanca last week, Usuthu picked themselves up to claim three points at home.

While McCarthy feels they could have won the match by a wider margin, he was impressed with their performance.

“I want to congratulate my players for a splendid performance, I think it was a nervy start against Raja but today from the off … of course Horoya they brought the fight to us because they’re seasoned campaigners and have an intimidation factor,” said McCarthy as per iDiski Times.

“But very soon [into the game] once we got our foot onto the ball, we just remained calm, removed the ball across the pitch switching them and getting Augustine Mulenga and Luvuyo Memela into the pockets of spaces that can hurt them, making them chase.

“Majok worked the central defenders and his hold-up play was magnificent, so I think if you’re a football lover and you don’t like what AmaZulu did today then I don’t know, maybe you must change to winter Olympics or something.

“My team was very good, organised, didn’t give much away today and it’s a pity we didn’t score more than the one goal that we scored – I think there were opportunities especially when you get a performance from ‘Diego’ Mulenga, you would like for him to cap it off with a goal. He could have had two goals [if he went for it].”

The former Bafana Bafana star is now confident they could go beyond the group phase as he warns of pulling upsets in this group.

Usuthu are now second on the table behind Raja Casablanca and ahead of ES Setif and basement side Horoya.

“Overall well deserved and I think we finally staked our claim that we’re not just AmaZulu who’s a novice in this competition and just here to fill the numbers,” McCarthy said.

“Our intentions are – yes we know it’s extremely difficult and most won’t give us an opportunity – but I think we have as good of a chance to get out of the group stages and surprising a lot of people because there’s room for growth in this team.”

AmaZulu will again be at home in their next Champions League match as they host ES Setif on Friday.

This is after they welcome TS Galaxy in a Premier Soccer League fixture on Tuesday.