Cape Town - Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy admitted his side didn't play to their highest level, after losing out to Mamelodi Sundowns in a five-goal thriller at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday evening.
Sundowns ran out 3-2 victors in the Premiership clash, a result that saw Pitso Mosimane's side claim top spot in the league standings with a game in hand.
And McCarthy conceded that Downs were deserved winners on the night, even going so far as to suggest their opponents showed more determination and desire.
"I think the deserved team won here today," he told SuperSport TV. "It wasn't our greatest game since I've been here.
"I think a lot of things could have come into play."
He continued: "Nerves, too many of my players were not in the game. They've been giving me everything in every single game, these are the games where you expect the performances naturally to rise but maybe this game was one game too much to ask for.
"We made it difficult for Sundowns but we weren't at our best. So I think they deserve to get this one and we'll have another opportunity next week Tuesday to play the same team.
"I think in Cape Town things will be a little different, but [today] not one of our best games.
"I'm happy for Kermit [Erasmus], he came in and scored a wonder goal. For me, that's got to be a goal of the season so far you know.
"But, well done to Sundowns, they wanted it more than us."