The win was a crucial one for Amakhosi, moving four points above the drop zone and providing a lift before Saturday’s match with Cape Town City
AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy admitted he was surprised by the way Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt set his side up in Wednesday’s match at Kings Park Stadium.
The Soweto side won the match 1-0 thanks to an 11th-minute strike by Samir Nurkovic to secure their first league win in eight games.
With Anthony Agay used more as a central defender alongside captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Cardoso added additional steel in the middle of the park which made it difficult for Usuthu to penetrate the Amakhosi defence.
“You’ve got to give credit to coach Gavin, with the situation that they have. He set them out pretty well, he played a back four and then he had [Daniel] Cardoso just sitting in front there,” McCarthy told SuperSport TV.
“I didn’t expect that to be honest, it caught us a little bit by surprise. We had to circulate the ball a little quicker. But when you do create chances, you can’t let teams off the hook,” the former Bafana Bafana striker continued.
“Because it doesn’t matter how good or how in form a team is, because if you create the chances and you don’t score, then it becomes tough. We stuck to our game – we knew we could open them, but it just didn’t want to fall for us.”
McCarthy, whose first-ever match as a coach in the PSL saw him leading Cape Town City to victory over Hunt’s former team Bidvest Wits, was happy to credit Chiefs for the victory and is now setting his sights on Sunday’s KwaZulu-Natal derby.
“Well done to Chiefs for getting themselves out of a difficult situation, because when you are on such a run, you know the pressure that comes with playing for such a big team,” he said.
“They did their homework, they kept us out and scored a goal and we didn’t. So they collected the three points, we just go on and work towards playing Maritzburg now.”