McCarthy optimistic about Usuthu’s quarter-final chances

Benni McCarthy, Coach of AmaZulu FC

AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy is optimistic about his side’s chances of reaching the CAF Champions League knockout phase.

This is despite Usuthu having recorded a 2-0 defeat to Algerian giants ES Setif in their fourth Group B encounter which was played in Algiers on Saturday night.

McCarthy was left to rue the KwaZulu-Natal giants’ missed chances as his charges were wasteful in front of goal at the Stade du 5 Juillet.

“Finishing has been a big problem for us this season, not just in the CAF competition but in the domestic league,” McCarthy said.

“We missed really good chances and Setif saw the game out and unfortunately for us 2-0 so in my opinion they deserved the victory today.

“They played the better of the two sides, but I feel the chances we had if we scored the goals it would have been a completely different outcome.”

AmaZulu are currently placed third on the Group B standings – level on points with second-placed Setif and three points behind leaders, Raja Casablanca of Morocco with two matches left.

McCarthy, who guided Usuthu to a second spot finish in the DStv Premiership last season, feels any of the four teams can still progress to the quarter-finals.

“The group is completely open. Raja didn’t win today so there’s a chance for Setif, for Horoya even to win the next two matches and they can also contest,” the Bafana Bafana legend added.

“We play Raja next and we are at home and I think at home we are a bit more solid. Hopefully we can win (against) Raja next week and then it’s everything to play for.”

Usuthu will play host to Raja at the 2010 FIFA World Cup venue, Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday, before facing Guinea’s Horoya AC away next month.