Benni time - McCarthy reveals amazing secret to AmaZulu's dramatic comeback wins

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Thembela Sikhakhane of AmaZulu FC after winning the Nedbank Cup, Last 32 match between Golden Arrows and AmaZulu FC at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
Thembela Sikhakhane of AmaZulu FC after winning the Nedbank Cup, Last 32 match between Golden Arrows and AmaZulu FC at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
Steve Haag

Head coach Benni McCarthy on Saturday revealed the secret to his AmaZulu side's ability to stage dramatic comebacks after pulling off their third consecutive come from behind win after a penalty shootout against Golden Arrows.

Usuthu staged a dramatic 5-4 win on penalties with the game finished 1-1 after regulation time thanks to a stoppage time equaliser by Lehlohonolo Majoro in the 92nd minute.

It is the third consecutive comeback win for McCarthy's side after going behind early in the 14th minute to a Michael Gumede strike.

Before Saturday's thrilling win, AmaZulu similarly pulled off comeback wins over Bloemfontein Celtic last Tuesday, thanks to a last-minute Tapelo Nyongo free-kick.

And before that, goals by Bongi Ntuli and again Majoro ensured that McCarthy's side again pulled off another comeback win by a 2-1 scoreline against Stellenbosch FC last week Friday.

When "Benni time" was jokingly referenced - a homage to Fergie time and Manchester United - McCarthy revealed the secret to his side's ability to pull off comebacks like the team he grew up supporting.

"You know I'm a die-hard Man United supporter and there was no better time in the Premier League than Fergie time. So I'm not trying to imitate but I do just have a little peek at my watch then I just give that little signal... Benni time coming up," McCarthy hilariously joked.

"But on a serious note, we just have that never-say-die attitude where we also know the capabilities we have.

"When we put the right players in the right positions and give them the service we know they will provide be it the first minute of the game, the 45th minute or the 95th minute of the game.

"That never-say-die attitude is because we don't lay down for anybody and we always show our passion. You could see the bench today and even how the substitutes were involved in the match."

McCarthy added that alongside that fighting spirit that his side possesses is a togetherness and belief that the entire squad and management team shares.

"We know during that crunch time of a game that we're going to get one opportunity and if we convert that chance then it'll be a completely different story," McCarthy added.

"We've been fortunate to have been 1-0 down a few times in a match and overturning it by scoring very late on and going on to win.

"I don't think this team previously has been associated with that fighting spirit and playing until the final whistle so I've looked to bring that mindset and mentality.

"That's who I was as a player, If I got knocked down five times I'd get up six times.

"So we're not at all doing to go down in games without a fight and that's just the mindset of the players and it's incredible because they believe in their ability.

"That's why we know, if it's the 90th minute and there's three minutes of additional time, we know we just need to creative one chance and we can get back into the game.

"That has been the difference."

AmaZulu next face a trip to Swallows FC in the Premiership in a Valentine's Day clash at the Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 15:30.

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