Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has responded to questions and criticism on why he substituted star striker Kermit Erasmus against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.
The nippy forward opened the scoring with a cracker of a goal midway into the 1st half against Amakhosi, but was later withdrawn from the game by Coach Benni.
Chiefs staged a fightback and equalised through Samir Nurkovic to send the match into extra time and penalties. Chiefs won 4-2 from the spotkicks to reach the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout.
McCarthy has been criticised for taking off Erasmus in the 79th minute and replacing him with Ebrahim Seedat. Chiefs found the equaliser five minutes later.
“He was sitting on the floor every 5 minutes, am just a Coach, so if a player asks to be substituted, what do you want me to do?” McCarthy questioned.
It was the second time Erasmus was subbed and Chiefs managing to come back into the match.
In a corresponding fixture between these 2 sides at Newlands Stadium in August, Cape Town City seemed to have had the game in the bag until Erasmus was substituted after half time and again Chiefs went on to equalise, and eventually netting the winner very late in the game to win 2-1.
“I must leave him on the pitch while there’s 7 more fresher players on the bench? Everybody is good enough, you know,” insisted McCarthy.
“If a player wants to come off, then I take him off. That is what it is, there was no tactical or technical change, he wanted to come off, simple.
“Like as in the 1st game – the 1st game at Newlands, he cried to me he wanted to come off, so I took him off,” concluded McCarthy.
By Shane Matsoyane