Benni McCarthy not overawed by Sundowns challenge

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy during the MTN 8 Quarter final match between Maritzburg United and Cape Town City on the 12 August 2018 at the Harry Gwala Stadium. Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Cape Town City could have done without playing Mamelodi Sundowns this early in the new season, but coach Benni McCarthy insists his side will not be overawed after drawing the champions in the semi-finals of the MTN8.

City will have home advantage for the first of the two-legged tie on the weekend of August 24-26, before the return game in Pretoria a fortnight later.

City upset Sundowns in their league encounters last season, but McCarthy was quick to describe those results as irrelevant.

"Last season and this season are two different animals and Sundowns now are even stronger," the former Bafana Bafana striker told KweséESPN.

"Everyone has seen they have two new players coming in every game and they look just better and better, so it's going to be a very, very difficult encounter.

"They might be Goliath in this situation, but at this moment in time we are not scared of anyone.

"If you want to be champions, or if you want to win trophies, you've gotta beat the best teams in the competition, and unfortunately for us the best team in our league is coming our way earlier than expected."

In beating Maritzburg United 1-0 away on Sunday in the quarter-finals, City have now reached the last four of the MTN8 in each of their three years of existence.

"Last season we were in a similar situation. Wits were in our way; nobody gave us any chance against Wits, but we sailed past and found ourselves in the final, so I think with this, we've got to just take it one game at a time and when Sundowns come we'll deal with it. And we've got two bites of the cherry, not just one ...

City next face Golden Arrows in a league clash on Saturday, having won once and lost another in their two games so far.