AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy believes if his troops are to go all the way in their first-ever Caf Champions League campaign, they have to be more clinical and adapt fast.
McCarthy’s men will take on Guinea giants Horoya AC at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday evening (21:00), in their second Champions League group stage game.
Last time out, Usuthu lost narrowly 1-0 against African football giants Raja Casablanca and will look to get their continental football campaign back. “We face a different challenge from Raja. Horoya are very physical and probably more physical than Raja,” said McCarthy.
“Their players are more athletic, and they are quick. West African teams boast that kind of threat, which we have to deal with. When we play at home, showing composure and playing our own game, we make it very difficult for any team. TP Mazembe found things difficult. We have to play to our strengths, which is getting the players the ball in the right area in the final third.
“We need to raise our level a bit. In Caf [African] competition, the physicality, speed and tempo of the game is a bit different as compared to what we face in the PSL, week in and week out. If we have to take lessons from our last game, it is that we need to be more clinical in front of goal.
“You may only get one chance, and sometimes in South African football, we lack that killer instinct where we convert our few chances. We let the opposition off the hook against Raja and paid the price. They created two chances – one was scored, and the other was saved by Veli (Mothwa),” added McCarthy.
Though AmaZulu suffered a defeat against Raja, McCarthy is of the view that they can only take lessons and positives from the loss.
“After Al Ahly, Zamalek and Wydad Casablanca, they are the fourth-best team in Africa. They are very much European like and have a lot of European influence.
“They are surrounded by European countries, and the coaches that they have are most strongly influenced by Europe. We didn’t embarrass ourselves at all and actually won over a lot of fans in Africa,” concluded McCarthy.