Milutin Sredojevic’s men were favourites to progress through to the quarter-final stage of the competition especially after having a week’s break since their 3-1 win over Soweto nemesis, Kaizer Chiefs in the league.
However, a second half goal through Ayanda Patosi ensured City’s first major win over the Soweto giants at Cape Town Stadium, and coach Benni McCarthy expressed delight in the win.
The former Pirates striker led his men against Bidvest Wits in the previous round and bagged a 1-0, a win he said is bigger than the one over the Soweto giants in the Ke Yona tournament.
“It is an incredible morale booster because Pirates are on a high, they are a great team,” McCarthy told SuperSport TV.
“You see the way that they played against Chiefs, they were amazing,” he said.
“We had to really plan carefully, but I think the game gave us an indication of how they played against Chippa (United)," he noted.
“We tried to exploit where they weren’t so good because when they are coming for you and they always attack with four or five players going forward, it leaves them vulnerable behind. The full-backs go quite high up,” he went on.
“We tried to get our players in those spaces and we wanted to have numbers in the box. I think that’s exactly how the goal came. We surprised them,” he added.
Referring to the Last 16 win over his former coach, Gavin Hunt in Braamfontein where Matthew Rusike netted on his debut, McCarthy said Hunt started everything for him.
“I think beating Wits, for me it will still be the biggest win because it was against the coach (Hunt) that started it all for me and they are the current league champions,” he reacted to the media.
“Obviously, along the way, you beat the African champions as well, (Mamelodi) Sundowns, so yeah, the form that Pirates are in, it is great that the boys were able to put in such a brave performance and stand their ground and go toe to toe and not be intimidated," said the 40-year-old.
“I wouldn’t give them that much credit saying that it is the biggest victory for the team because I think we beat equally good teams than them as well,” concluded the manager.
The upcoming encounter for City will be at home to Costa Do Sol for their Caf Confederation Cup first round second leg clash on Sunday at 16:00.