It’s win or bust for City against Celtic

CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City are still in the hunt for a shot at Premier League honours but need to win their remaining five fixtures and need results to go their way to have a say in the final outcome.

The task could be a bridge too far for the fourth-placed Citizens who are still to win more than three games in a row.

The Cape-based team are away to ninth-placed Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday (3pm kick-off) after losing their last two games.

Last time out Benni McCarthy’s charges dominated Golden Arrows on their home field and still ended 1-0 losers.

McCarthy said after the loss that Arrows “needed the points more than us”. Maybe he’s resigned to the fact that a maiden league title is for another season.

Had his charges beaten lowly Arrows the three points would have moved City up two places to third on the table and four points off Orlando Pirates, who now enjoy a three-point lead over second-place Mamelodi Sundowns following their 2-0 home victory over struggling league newcomers Black Leopards on Wednesday.

City had 61 percent of the possession against Arrows and six shots on target, three of which fell the way of forward Chris David and were on target.

To have made 80 entries into the score zone without finding the back of the net tells a story.

City played well in difficult underfoot conditions, but with so much at stake, a win was non-negotiable.

An improvement in the delivery of set-pieces is a must, says City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis. “They have to be hit with pace and curl, anything less makes it difficult to attack the ball.”

B19CERW146 - It’s win or bust for City against Celtic
Kermit Erasmus needs to put his scoring boots on. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

The lack of firepower in the final third is a worry too and strikers Kermit Erasmus and Siphelele Mthembu have to show they have the desire to score goals.

Erasmus has gone two games without a shot on goal and Mthembu, who seems to be back to full fitness, only got a header on target against Arrows from a David corner that he usually puts away.

But the two marksmen need better support from an array of playmakers. McCarthy might want to tinker his midfield combinations.

One option would be to bring back veteran Teko Modise alongside Thato Mokeke.

City have pace to the left and right of them and the likes of proven performers Craig Martin, Gift Links, Riyaad Norodien and Surprise Ralani have the skill sets to break open defences when in the mood.

McCarthy will hope the lack of goals in three games now will end at Celtic.

Drawing blanks at the sharp end of the season just won’t do if City are to have a shot at glory.

Mike de Bruyn

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