Bidvest Wits slide into third

Bidvest Wits slide into third

The Clever Boys came back from a spirit dampening loss against Mamelodi Sundowns last week to taking the third spot on the log after showing Maritzburg United how its done.

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PERFECT BOOT: Bidvest Wits debutant and goal scorer, Kris Bright trying to break the defence of opponents, Maritzburg United. Photo: Anlerie de Wet

ROUND THREE of the Absa Premiership saw Bidvest Wits beat their KwaZulu-Natal guests at home Wednesday night and slide into a familiar third place on the rankings.

Maritzburg United’s captain Ashley Hartog made a visible effort to keep the players forged in Jozi from scoring, but two powerful goals flew past him and his team.

After what was a very slow start for the Clever Boys with a couple of failed open shots at goal, New Zealander Kris Bright scored a beauty from Daine Klaite’s corner kick.

Bright had a massive game and worked well with Elias Pelembe and Sibusiso Vilakazi until he was sent to rest in the middle of the second half.

Wits kicked-off the second half with Vilakazi’s right boot directing the ball past the Maritzburg goalie, Virgil Vries, to stretch the home side’s lead to 2-0. This goal came two minutes after the start of the half with a great assist from debutant Bright.

With many attempts at goal none of the teams seemed to be able to score after Vilakazi’s success, leaving the final score at 2-0.

The discipline in this game was something to strive for in the rest of the season.  There were only a total of three yellow cards between the two teams as Wits already had five yellows against them from two games and Maritzburg a troubling 13.

Wits managed to move-up the rankings from 10th to 3rd with six points, just below their Ajax Cape Town rivals. But the Maritzburg boys failed to sway away from their 15th position.

Although the Clever Boys’ performance is a step-up from that of their 4-2 defeat last week against Mamelodi Sundowns, they still failed to convert a couple of easy opportunities. They won’t get away with these slip-ups as easily when they face the calibre of Ajax this Saturday in the MTN 8 semi-finals.

Bidvest Wits will be taking on AmaTuks in their next Absa Premiership round on September 13 in Pretoria.

Bloem Celtics continue on winning streak, beating the Clever Boys

Bloem Celtics continue on winning streak, beating the Clever Boys

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bloemfontein Celtic has continued their winning streak by beating Bidvest Wits 1-0 on Friday night.

The winning goal was struck by Lerato Lamola in the 78th minute. His team mate, Musa Nyatama, was tackled unfairly by Siyabonga Nhlapo of Bidvest Wits. Nhlapo was given his second yellow card of the match, and was sent off. Nhlapo conceded a penalty which allowed the visitors to lead 1-0.

The Free State based team has been on a winning streak since the start of the Premier Soccer League in February this year

The game was hotly contested, with Bloemfontein Celtic’s coach, Clinton Larsen admitting that they had expected to work hard for their win. He said they watched how Wits dominated the game against Sundowns and he warned his players that, “Wits settle very quickly.”

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe  Mqadi

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Larsen added that his side was very disciplined and that Wits didn’t manage to break them down in the middle. He was delighted with the three points and said, “The boys worked hard for it.”

The game had a slow start with the players being unable to keep their balance on the wet pitch, due to rain earlier in the day.

As the players began to adjust to the pitch and the chilly Johannesburg air, Wits took their chances with a cross being played through from Shameegh Doutie to Jabulani Shongwe in the first 30 minutes of the game. The shot, like many others that Wits had on target, did not reach the back of the net.

Wits Goalkeeper, Moeneeb Josephs also had his work cut out for him as Bloemfontein Celtic attacked at every chance they got.

In the 43rd minute, Lerato Lamola after being served with a great ball from Man of the Match, Keegan Ritchie, failed to find the back of the net due to a vigilant save by Josephs.

Even though the first was goalless, the atmosphere was electric with the fans of The Clever Boys and those of Siwelele singing to keep their spirits up and themselves warm.

After the drastic turn of events in the 78th minute, the 10-man-side of Wits played solid football and managed to hold Celtics at one goal.

A disappointed Gavin Hunt said he believed that his side should have scored more goals. He said they were second in the league and not at the top, because they have not been scoring goals.

Wits remain at 40 points on the log table, 10 points below log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, whilst Bloemfontein Celtic walked away with three points.

Wits Soccer shoots for Nationals

Wits Soccer shoots for Nationals

HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals.    Photo: Lameez Omarjee

HECTIC HEADER: During soccer practice at Diggs fields on Tuesday, Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje said he is confident in his team’s performance for their upcoming semi-final match against Tuks in the USSA Gauteng League, where a top three spot will get them to nationals.
Photo: Lameez Omarjee

If the Wits men’s soccer team beat Tuks, Pretoria University’s log leaders, next week, it will go through to the national finals of the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament in December.

Through this possible win at next week Tuesday’s match, Wits would attain one of the top three positions in the Gauteng USSA League and would then qualify for the national tournament to be held in Durban, in the first week of December.
Meeting for the second time with their opponents, Wits University football coach Karabo Mogudi said his men were more than prepared for Tuks.

Cruising through competition

“They are good football players; they play high intensity football which is a strong point for them. I’ve prepared the team to play the same as well. They must bring it on because we know we [are] going to bring it too,” said Mogudi.

Wits thrashed Tuks with a 3-1 win the last time there was a face-off between the two in August. Mogudi is confident his team could win against them again, even though the match is in Pretoria, on their rival’s home turf when they duel on Tuesday, September 23.

The rankings so far are as follows: Tuks first, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) second, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) third and Wits, in fourth place.

Attaining a position in the top eight of the USSA national champs will then qualify Wits for the Varsity Football league. They did not qualify last year.

“The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple”

Wits team captain Tebogo Digoamaje, 2nd year BSc Property Studies, who joined the team last year felt that their performance this season was better because the squad was bigger. About 25 players are registered for the USSA Gauteng League. Last year the smaller team battled without squad rotations between games.

Digoamaje revealed that past lost matches were due to mistakes they had made, rather than their opponent’s performance.

Unshakable confidence

However, he had “full respect for every opponent” they played against. In preparation for their game against Tuks, he said, “We’ve implemented a number of strategies, various ones, and the coach will decide which will lead us to victory and get us to nationals.”

Left wing Neo Makua, 3rd year BSc Quantity Surveying, felt confident that the team will go through to national championships. “The coach made us become a team, so we put the team before the individual.”

Although there are strong individuals playing, Mogudi emphasised team play rather than individual stars. “The team should be the star. I don’t want individualism … if the team wins, the players shine. It’s that simple,” he said.

Mogudi is confident in the team’s tactics and credits his technical team, which consists: assistant coach Dumisani Thusi, goal-keeper coach Kgabo Ditsebe and team manager, Sanele Nene for developing new ideas and strategies for success.

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