Cape Town - Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy believes Orlando Pirates played his team at the wrong time of the season as the Soweto giants' Absa Premiership's title hopes were dented after a 2-2 draw at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday.
The Citizens got out of the blocks quickly as they took the lead through Zukile Kewuti after just 18 seconds but Pirates hit back as goals from Thembinkosi Lorch and Luvuyo Memela gave Bucs a 2-1 lead.
City kept on fighting though and pegged the log leaders back as Craig Martin scored near the end of a pulsating encounter in front of a capacity crowd to make sure the teams shared the spoils.
McCarthy, who played and won a PSL trophy with the Buccaneers, insisted his loyalty is only with his current employer.
The City head coach told Supersport TV after the game: "I said it before, for me there's no emotions in football.
"My loyalty and my emotions lie with the team I'm coaching, that I give everything for.
"I sympathise with Pirates because I think they had a great season.
"But unfortunately they played Cape Town City at the wrong time. They had to be exceptionally better than us today.
"They got one more game to go. Anything is possible. In football you don't know what's going to happen."
The former Bafana Bafana striker though credited both teams for an entertaining game.
McCarthy continued: "A great football match. It was a end-to end game. And for me it's just amazing to see the stadiums getting filled.
"Because this is the kind of football fans want to see. South African football is really on the up."