Cape Town City edged Polokwane City 1-0 on manager Benni McCarthy's coaching debut in their MTN8 quarter-final clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Cape Town City deservedly progressed to the next round of the MTN8 but it was an own goal by defender Sibusiso Mbonani that separated the two sides.
On the balance of play, the Citizens deserved the victory but were extremely wasteful in front of goal.
Benni McCarthy enjoyed a solid but unspectacular start to his managerial career with the Blue and Gold Army - but will no doubt be pleased with the win.
The defensive shape and organisation within the home side provided a good basis for last season's surprise package and in attack the showed glimpses of their individual quality.
With Teko Modide pulling out with a muscle strain just before kickoff, Thabo Nodada was roped into the starting XI and the diminutive midfielder gave a good account of himself next to Roland Putsche.
Captain Lebogang Manyama and forward Lyle Lakay also produced industrious performances creating a number of chances early in the first-half but often found George Chigova in an uncompromising mood.
Benni would have felt hard done by in the 26th minute, when he saw his goalkeeper Shuaib Walters make a wonderful save at one end - before a swift breakaway ended up with Lehlohonolo Majoro finding the back of the net. However, it was ruled off side.
Ten minutes later, the home supporters were treated with their first goal of the season and McCarthy's tenure albeit in an unexpected circumstance as Sibusiso Mbonani looked to head the ball away from a corner but looped over the head of Chigova.
In the second-half the game lacked real fluency which was expected in the first outing for the season of both sides but Rise and Shine head coach Bernard Molekwa can be excited about his attack force as the season progresses with Tlolane, Rodney Ramagalele and Thobani Mcwango amongst his forward options.