The guests had taken an early lead within the first 10 minutes with an excellent single goal from Terrence Mashego, but then let Benni McCarthy’s team take the initiative, which ultimately led to Lehlohonolo Majoro equalizing after an hour.

Under such circumstances last season City would have given in under the pressure and had to give up the result under ex-coach Jan Olde Riekerink.

Often times, City played an attractive football but was not ready to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work. But with Tinkler back on top after a couple of seasons outside of Cape Town, the former tough guy from Bafana Bafana is eager to bring that courage and determination back to his team, as exemplified by Man of the Match Abbubaker Mobara.

Mobara, who recently missed going to the Tokyo Olympics with the SA-U23, has been superb all along as he made a series of crucial tackles just as AmaZulu was about to break out on the attack.

“The only thing I wanted to introduce here in Cape Town is that it’s not always about playing nice football. Sometimes you have to play ugly football to get the result, ”said Tinkler.

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“Last season we tried to play too much good football and that didn’t bring us the results because we conceded a lot of goals. I explained it to the guys at halftime … that it will be about who wants it more. At the end of the day we stayed there, we got the equalizer, but we kept going.

“We changed the formation to strengthen ourselves a little more in the broad areas so that our full-backs can move forward. Once we do that, we have the winner right after death. I think we had a lot more structure defensively. We looked more organized and hopefully that now boosts self-confidence. “

Tinkler was equally pleased with the performance of City’s debutants Khanyisa Mayo and goalkeeper Hugo Marques against Usuthu.

Mayo put an expert move on the offensive, while Marques’ vast experience came through, particularly when he was forced to make a crucial late save after an AmaZulu free kick that headed into the lower left corner.

“I thought he (Mayo) actually did very well. I think when we took the 1-0 lead he could have been more active because we couldn’t find him for a long time, but I found his defensive work ethic to be exceptional. He made one or two mistakes on the ball, but that’s to be expected.

“Hugo didn’t surprise, to be honest. We’re talking about a man who has been playing in Europe for many years. He has been playing at the highest level for over 1000 games. I found his performance exceptional. “

City receives Swallows in the MTN8 semi-finals. The dates will be announced.


IOL sports