City back to winning ways

Cape Town City returned to winning form in the Absa Premiership in emphatic style, crushing Polokwane City 5-3 at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Inspired by a brace from Kermit Erasmus, the Citizens registered their first league victory since August (breaking a seven-game winless streak) in their first outing since coach Benni McCarthy was shown the door.

On the day that CTC named Jan Olde Riekerink as the permanent replacement for McCarthy, caretaker coach Vasili Manousakis made several changes, including the deployment of Sage Stephens as goalkeeper and handing a debut to defender Ioannis Potouridis.

The Citizens got off to a flyer and claimed the lead as early as the sixth minute, with Kermit Erasmus turning home Riyaad Norodien’s cross from close range, leaving goalkeeper George Chigova with no chance as the hosts hit the front.

In the 12th minute the Cape side doubled their advantage. This time Erasmus turned from scorer to provider, teeing up striker partner Siphelele Mthembu, who provided a fine finish into the top corner of the net to see CTC put daylight between themselves and Polokwane.

However, just when the Citizens appeared to be in full control, a lapse of concentration in defence allowed Rise and Shine’s Charlton Mashumba to pull a goal back midway through the first half. Nicholas Moutlong (who was soon replaced due to injury) provided a fine assist for the forward to bring the visitors back into the game.

Cape Town City pressed for another strike through the remainder of the first half, and just before the interval they restored a two-goal lead when Erasmus netted his second. The striker provided a fine finish from a Bradley Ralani cross to see the hosts 3-1 up at the break.

The second half saw CTC seemingly take their foot off the pedal somewhat, as they struggled to recreate the thrust they enjoyed in the first 45 minutes. However, a goal from substitute Mpho Makola in the 71st minute was quickly followed by another from Edmilson shortly thereafter, bringing the score up to 5-1 and sealing a full haul of points for the hosts.

Polokwane pulled a couple of goals back late on through Mashumba, who managed to complete a hat-trick, but it was no more than a consolation for the Limpopo side, which has now suffered four straight defeats.

CAPE TOWN CITY (3) 5 (Erasmus 6’ 45+2’, Mthembu 12’, Makola 71’, Edmilson 74’)

POLOKWANE CITY (1) 3 (Mashumba 22’ 87’ 90+4’)

CTC: Stephens, Mkhize, Fielies, Potouridis, Edmilson, Norodien (Martin 63’), Putsche (Mokeke 75’), Nodada, Ralani, Mthembu (Makola 65’), Erasmus

POLOKWANE: Chigova, Nkili, Mbonani, Motloung (Chauke 23’), Buthelezi, Manaka, Mngomezulu (W. Maluleke 58’), Phiri, J. Maluleke, Mashumba, Booi (Nku 46’)