CAPE TOWN – Kermit Erasmus has scored three goals in his last four Premier League games and helped Cape Town City win two of them – against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns and former leaders Wits.
But the compact striker should have had a couple more in the goalless home draw with Polokwane City a fortnight ago.
Now the South African international gets a chance to redeem himself on Sunday when City travel to Nelspruit to take on Kaizer Chiefs in a Nedbank Cup quarter-final.
Chiefs will bank on a big crowd as they attempt to lift the trophy they last won in 2013.
Amakhosi had the better of the Citizens in their league encounter two months ago but still ended up 1-0 losers, after a goalkeeping blunder from Virgil Vries.
City’s Dutch shot-stopper Peter Leeuwenburgh pulled off a string of top-notch saves to earn the tall fellow the man-of-the-match award.
His heroics throughout the season and City being the current top goal-scorers in the league is the reason why Benni McCarthy’s charges find themselves in fourth place and in with a fighting chance of challenging for the title and a third title, having won the Telkom Cup in 2016 and the MTN 8 last year.
Players such as Erasmus and fellow striker Siphelele Mthembu will be two key men for McCarthy in both the league and Nedbank Cup. The pair have started as the front two only once before and neither had games to remember.
No-one feels it more than Erasmus when he fluffs his lines as seen when he failed to score from the penalty spot against AmaZulu.
City ended up losing the game 1-0 to bring to an end a six-game unbeaten league run. It was only his fourth appearance and he has since looked a lot sharper.
But he does have to contend with big defenders and it means he has to be on top of his game to out-fox them with his speed and movement key weapons.
His first two goals for the club he signed with in December were brilliant efforts, the first from far out with his left foot and the next a right-footed curler.
“He’s a special player,” said City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis. “His strikes against Sundowns and Wits showed what he’s capable of on his day. He’s getting stronger by the game and I expect to see him score a lot more.”
Mnaka we are going back to our roots to meet up with Kaizer Chiefs, Woza #NedbankCup2019 Last 8.
🎟️ @TicketProSA R40
📆 31 March | 15H00
⚽ ✌️ vs 💙
🏟️ Mbombela Stadium#iamCityFC 💥💙 pic.twitter.com/V00OhZNYzO
— Cape Town City FC (@CapeTownCityFC) March 26, 2019
Mthembu, City’s leading goal scorer, has been stuck on seven league goals for longer than he cares to remember. Against Chiefs he was fouled early on and it saw him out of action for a number of weeks. McCarthy has eased him back into action and one can expect to see the man they call Shaka Zulu turn the table on Chiefs, that’s if they play fair ,which wasn’t the case first time round.
Goals can also be sourced from the likes of wingers Gift Links and Surprise Ralani as well as captain Thami Mkhize, who scored in the previous two rounds of the NC operating as the left-sided defender.
Riyaard Norodien and new signing Chris David have scored from free-kicks, so an array of talented men who can do the business for McCarthy.
Mike de Bruyn
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