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AmaZulu lacked the final touch to finish off Maritzburg United - McCarthy

11:49 GMT+3 29/11/2021
Benni McCarthy, AmaZulu FC, October 2021
The former Bafana striker rues missed chances for Usuthu as they dropped points in the KwaZulu-Natal derby at Harry Gwala Stadium

AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy was left frustrated after his side had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Maritzburg United in a Premier Soccer League match at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.

It was Usuthu who took a deserved lead in the 11th minute when Luvuyo Memela powered home from close range but Maritzburg drew level in the 86th minute when Amadou Soukouna scored with a fine finish.

The draw in the KwaZulu-Natal derby has left the former Bafana Bafana striker ruing Usuthu’s missed chances, insisting they deserved to walk away with maximum points.

'I couldn't really complain about the boys'

“I think today [Sunday] we were a bit better, I couldn’t really complain about the boys, in fact, the chances we created and the way we opened them up and our first goal came in that style,” McCarthy told the media after the game.

“I think we created a few chances where we were pretty decent in the build-up and then we just lacked that final touch when entering their danger area.

“We could not put the nail in the coffin you know you give yourself a cushion goal and we don’t do that and we head into half-time with a cushion 1-0 lead and you don’t want to change too much because the boys have managed.

“And then second half we told them Martizburg will come and play a little more direct and they will also have moments when the tie will swing their way so we don’t need to allow them to play the ball because they like playing inside the box and we did that very well."

'We had two or three chances to get game beyond them'

McCarthy continued: “And then we created our own little chances but we had to rue our missed chances, we had two or three chances really, to get the game beyond them but really we can’t complain, as they gave us a sucker punch, you know the goal that they scored, which was frustrating to us.

“If we had just taken one of the three chances that we created, we know clinical finishing and use our final pass, then we could have won the game, and then obviously some luck from our side, the men in the middle decided that you know we don’t get a clear penalty for us.

“At the end, they got the equaliser and you cannot have to conform being happy with a point, it is a game that we should have put to bed but we never, but now we cannot mourn beyond because it is over, we take some positives from the game.

“A lot of positive from my players especially after letting Kaizer Chiefs off the hook in our last game, a game which we should have won, and today [Sunday], they played a lot much better.”

On whether his team could have defended the goal they conceded, McCarthy said: “Maybe a little bit of pressure early before they reached the box, or giving a foul outside the box, they were just going down, getting free-kicks, but at least a foul and then we regroup to defend could have saved us.

“I think lapse of concentration, we allowed them in and they took a point from us, anyway it not a loss nut not a win from us, every game we should be winning, people say one point is better than zero point but I prefer three points.”

AmaZulu will shift their focus to their next league match against Royal AM at Jonsson Kings Park Stadium on Saturday.