McCarthy: Pirates clash perfect preparation for Raja

AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy

AmaZulu FC head coach Benni McCarthy believes their recent match against Orlando Pirates helped his side prepare for their clash with Raja Casablanca.

Usuthu were narrowly beaten 1-0 by the Buccaneers 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 match at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday as the current campaign resumed following a mid-season break.

The KwaZulu-Natal giants will take on Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca in their opening CAF Champions League Group B match at the Stade Mohamed V in North Africa on Saturday.

“My players shouldn’t feel hard done by after today’s result because we were giants [on Sunday],” McCarthy said.

“This game was very important for us to gauge our readiness for Raja. I can say it helped us to prepare for the Champions League.”

The 44-year-old tactician explained that there are a lot of positives which they took from their defeat to the 1995 CAF Champions League and 1996 CAF Super Cup winners.

“There are a lot of lessons we picked up from this game that we’ll use going forward. One of those lessons is that we must improve in terms of converting chances,” he added.

“I can take a lot of motivations from this game because we were supposedly playing a big team in the country and what we did today is a testament to the hard work and how far we’ve come along.”

Usuthu will be making their maiden appearance in the Champions League group stage after eliminating five-time African champions TP Mazembe of DRC in the previous round.