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The treble beckons

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In only his second year as a Manager McCarthy has his sights sets on a unique hat-trick

ONWARD MARCH: Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy celebrates after their win over Mamelodi Sundowns at Athlone Stadium earlier this month. Ryan Wilkisky BackpagePix

THERE’S no desputing that Benni McCarthy is a born winner. The incumbent Cape Town City boss lifted multiple silverware during his illustrious career when he was a player. He really enjoyed a trophy-laden run in his glittering career both locally and abroad.

McCarthy is still the only Uefa Champions League medalist in South Africa and is now on the verge of winning a treble with the Citizens. City are still very much in the title race but first they will face Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday at 3.30pm.

They have already delivered the MTN8 triumph into their trophy cabinet this season after defeating SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban at the start of the season to be crowned champions in what was McCarthy’s maiden triumph.

The all-time leading goalscorer for Bafana is in his second season as a head coach. Last season he reached the final of the MTN8 but succumbed to Matsatsantsa A Pitori. He also guided City into the top 8 which they managed to capture.

As far as the PSL is concerned, the Citizens are three points behind the log leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns. They are fourth on the log with 40 points after 24 games, while the Brazilians are at the summit with 43 points after 23 games.

McCarthy and his troops will have to lock horns with Lamontville Golden Arrows, Bloemfontein Celtic, Highlands Park, Chippa United, Orlando Pirates and Black Leopards in their last six league matches.

They have every opportunity to reign supreme come May if they can stay consistent. Their fate is on their own hands. Obviously, they will need Sundowns to drop points, but three points is not a massive gap especially if you take into consideration that Downs still have to play their sworn rivals, SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates.

It will be a huge achievement for McCarthy if he was to succeed in his quest to capture the treble.

It won’t be elementary though. City still has to dispatch Chiefs in the last 8 of the Nedbank Cup and then see who they will be pitted against in the semi-finals. But it is possible.

As aplayer McCarthy won a treble during his short stint with the Buccaneers. He was a vital cog in that vintage Pirates side that delivered back-to-back trebles. His important strikes played a pivotal role in the Buccaneers accomplishments in 2011/12. The Sea Robbers lifted the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and the league.

History shows that the red hot McCarthy secured the treble for the Sea Robbers when he notched up a brace in the last league game against Lamontville Golden Arrows at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban as they emerge as 4-2 winners on the day and lifted the trophy. They needed the victory in the last game to win the title seeing as Moroka Swallows were hot in their heels.

So McCarthy will not be intimidated if this season’s PSL title race also goes down to the wire because experience has shown his that anything is possible, and in a tight race they’ll always have that shot at getting that unprecedented treble.