Benni McCarthy has hit back at his critics after qualifying AmaZulu for next season’s Caf Champions League.
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AmaZulu beat Swallows FC 1-0 at the Kings Park Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday evening to confirm a runners-up finish, holding an unassailable four point lead over Orlando Pirates with just one game left in the campaign.
“We have achieved the unthinkable,” said McCarthy, who has done a sensational job since taking over in December.
“When I joined, and the president (Sandile Zungu) said we would finish in the top four, people said he was crazy.
“When I joined, people said I was overrated, I was fired by Cape Town City and I would fail. Who is laughing now?’
Under McCarthy, AmaZulu have lost just two league games this year, and went on a 16-game unbeaten run that briefly threatened Mamelodi Sundowns in the race for the Premiership title.
Those two defeats came against Baroka and Orlando Pirates just before the Swallows match, but Tapelo Xoki’s penalty on Wednesday was enough to inflict only a second defeat of the season on the Birds.
“In the last two games we were … off the pace, but we had a 16 game unbeaten run, somewhere people are going to make it difficult for you. A champion is judged on how he gets up and moves forward,” added McCarthy.
“We came up (today) against one of the toughest teams in the league, that had 19 draws and only one defeat. We played them off the park and could have added more, but we take 1-0, it gives us the three points we needed. Champions League football is coming to KZN and I am super proud of the AmaZulu players, technical staff and everyone associated with the club.”