SOCCER: Wits men lose to neighbours UJ

The Wits Football Club Men’s side suffered a blow after losing 1-0 to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Tuesday evening.

The winning goal was struck by Lindani Mazibuko after a set piece that had been awarded to UJ due to an unfair tackle on one of their players in the first 35 minutes of the game.

The first match of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng Football League saw UJ dominating in the first half of the game. UJ head coach Bradley Carnell explained it was a “calculated approach from the team” to ensure that they play well enough to win the first game of the season.

The combination of Treasure Dlamini, Tshepo Tolo, Sadro Claro and Tebogo Mandy made for entertaining viewing as they attacked the Wits defense coming from the left side of the park in the first half of the match.

With the beginning of the second half, the game seemed to even out with both teams attacking equally.

Wits pushed forward with a good offense but missed a few goal chances.

“They will improve as in the last 15 mins the boys were starting to cramp and stuff so not really lack of fitness but really lack real competitive match fitness.”

The Wits combination of Ayanda Makua and Gift Baloyi kept the pressure on the opposition’s defense, but UJ rose to the occasion by ensuring that Wits could not break them down completely.

In a counter attack at 50 minutes, Dlamini missed two perfect scoring opportunities in order to extend their lead by hitting the crossbar and side bar in less than a minute.

The last 20 minutes of the game saw Wits attacking UJ steadily but despite the team’s efforts and the fans’ singing, the match ended 1-0.

Wits coach Karabo Mogudi acknowledged that UJ had been playing in other competitive tournaments and that gave them an advantage in Tuesday’s game.

Mogudi added that Wits failed to achieve a competitive edge due to a lack of “real competitive match fitness”.

The Wits women’s and men’s teams are set to play against the Tshwane University of Technology on the 17th of March 2015 at Bidvest Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:30pm and 8:30pm.

 

SOCCER: Freshers meet and greet Bidvest Wits players

MY TURN: First years patiently waiting for their turn to get their posters signed by

MY TURN: First years patiently wait for their turn to get their posters signed by Bidvest Wits player Christopher Katongo.                                       Photo: Nqobile Dludla

First years talked non-stop about finally meeting their favourite Bidvest Wits players on Sunday at the orientation week welcome day friendly match between the Clever Boys and the Wits Football Club.

First-year Sonwabile Nzeke from Klerksdorp couldn’t believe that he finally got to meet the Bidvest Wits team in person.

“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm. I even stole a few signed posters [of the squad]”

“The level of facilities were impressive because we come from rural towns where there is hardly anything. From the sport facility, to how the players played,” said Nzeke.

His newly-found friend, Lesiba Phahladira, was also in awe as it was his first time ever at a stadium.

“The match was quite entertaining because this was my first time at the stadium for a live match. My favourite Bidvest Wits player is Rowen Fernandez. When he signed [my hand] I felt like calling my mom and say ‘Fernandez touched my hand’. It was so great,” said Phahladira.

The emotional Ramathaba Masipa Bidvest Wits said he “almost cried” when he saw Moeneeb Josephs who is widely known as ‘Slim Kat’.

“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm”

“From a very young age I’ve always been a supporter. It was great seeing them, I even got an autograph and took pictures with Katongo, Slim Kat. Yoh, I almost cried I was emotional. I’ve always wanted to meet Slim Kat in person and he was so friendly. On the pitch he is normally crazy so I expected him to be mean,” said Masipa.

Conflicted in which team to support, the stadium shock nonetheless in excitement when Yusuf Jappie’s only winning goal sent Bidvest Wits into a lead just before half time.

“It was a good game. The university played very well to be honest. Good on the ball, good technically. We have a lot of young players coming through so this is a perfect opportunity to look at them and see at what they can do and these are the games that give us that indication. We’ll continue to groom but individually they are talented and that’s important for us,” said assistant coach Andre Arendse.

 

SOCCER: Wits FC disappoints log leaders VUT

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DOWN TO EARTH: Log leaders VUT’s hammering machine was deflected by Wits FC Men’s side in a well-sustained 0-0 draw, only adding a point to both sides. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Wits FC Men’s side brought  log leaders Vaal University of Technology (VUT) down to earth with a 0-0 draw at Bidvest Wits Stadium on Tuesday.

The draw was VUT’s first disappointment this season after having won all six of their games so far in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng football league, making them the log leaders with 16 points.

With only eight points and in fourth position, Wits came prepared on Tuesday to send a message of intent. Wits FC is looking for a top four qualifying position for the USSA National Championships. Wits coach Karabo Mogudi told Wits Vuvuzela that his team came prepared to face VUT.

“We managed to contain VUT, considering that they play high level football. We did assess them. We watched their game last week at UJ and assessed their strengths and weakness. VUT actually came back to us now and said ‘Hey, you prepared well’,” said Mogudi.

In addition to team assessments, Wits has added two new centre backs in hopes of growing and strengthening the team as they prepare to take on more tougher opponents when the season resumes in August.

Though the match was without any goals, Mogudi said the Wits team was to be commended for holding their log leading opponents to a scoreless draw.

“It’s a positive that we did not concede against a team that really attacks people. They came out guns blazing and we managed to contain them and that’s a positive from us. We had some clear goal scoring opportunities but if it wasn’t for the brilliance of their goal keeper, we’d be smiling now with three points in the bag,” said Mogudi.

While the draw was a positive outcome for Wits, the team will have to maintain the same stamina when the season resumes in August when they take on UJ and TUT Pretoria, two teams who are tough opponents to look out for.

Game on lock down

Wits threatened to score as early as the sixth minute when Innocent Magasela’s free-kick,  assisted by Wonderboy Frank’s header, was saved by VUT’s goalkeeper. Four minutes later, Wits made another attempt, this time a corner kick from Zachary Cohen whose shot was deflected by the VUT goalkeeper. Magasela came back on the  rebound, with a kick that went over the goal post, sending chills down the fan’s spines.

In the second half, with the score at 0-0, Wits wasted no time to attack when Neo Makua impressed with a brilliant dribble, breaking VUT’s back line, and fed the ball to Tshepo Motsukunyane whose right foot shot was unfortunately saved by the goalkeeper.

VUT’s hammering machine struggled to threaten Wits as the game neared its dying seconds leaving the final whistle to blow with the score comfortably sitting at 0-0.

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SOCCER: New talent benefit Wits Men’s FC

Wits Men Football Club ended the match with an unexpected goal from Tshepo "JR" Motsukunyane resulting in a 3-0 victory over Monash.Photo: Nqobile Dludla

WINNERS: Wits Men Football Club ended the match with an unexpected goal from Tshepo “JR” Motsukunyane resulting in a 3-0 victory over Monash. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

The Wits Men’s football team matched their female counterparts by coming away with a solid win against university rivals Monash at Marks Park on Monday night.

Wits Men’s FC started off their University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng Football League season with a strong performance finishing their match 3-0 against the team from Monash.

The win come after a restructuring of the team through the incorporation of several former Wits Junior players.

Wits coach, Karabo Mogudi, picked six players who have been playing development football for quite some time, bringing some much needed diversity to the team.

“A lot of good talent is coming through. They are well developed and are now starting to get the competitive edge against tougher opponents and the aim is to grow them in confidence,” said Mogudi.

With a few mistakes here and there, Mogudi still worries about the key aspects of the game that need more improvement. 

“Although we did well, we need to tighten our defence. We kept the position well, we made forward runs and they played according to instructions. We’re going to work hard in defending set pieces and attacking set pieces. They are a crucial aspect of the game,” he said

What seemed like a failed corner-kick saw Tebogo Digoamaje release a controlled pass to  Kaizer Maphanga, who gave Wits a 1-0 lead in the first half.

Wits too strong for Monash

Hungry for a rebound, Maphanga missed a well distributed corner kick 15 minutes into the 2nd half, only having the ball go over the goal post.

Not wasting time, few minutes after Mutsukunyane’ substitution, he netted a solid 2-0 in the second half beating his attacker.

Following Wits’ four attempted goals, Monash pushed further ahead after half an hour with a more controlled counter-attack, forcing Wits to rush their passes instead of sticking to their more composed combinations.

The second half ended with an unexpected 3-0 score, with a final goal from Tshepo Mutsukunyane only two minutes before the whistle was heard.

Sphiwe Mkhonza, Monash coach said although his team started off in a bad note “The guys did well; it’s a good foundation for us. This year when we started I told them that our objective is to be in the top 3,” he said.

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SOCCER: Monash feels the wrath of Wits Ladies FC

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USSA Gauteng Football League: Wits Ladies FC played their first league match on Tuesday after their first match with VUT scheduled for March 11 was postponed due to the waterlogged pitch. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Wits Ladies Football Club kept their stern hopes of USSA National Champs qualification flickering with an easy 16-0 victory at Markspark in the USSA Gauteng Football League on Tuesday.

The University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng Football League 2014 season kicked off last Tuesday.

Goals from Precious Zulu, Puleng Mofokeng and Linah Maphanga in the first half gave Wits Ladies FC a steady advantage over Monash University Ladies team which staggered goalless until half time.

Setting a precedent, Zulu’s eighth minute goal in the slow paced match saw Wits dominating the first half. Within a couple of minutes after the first goal, Monash was unable to keep up and use more of their forward passes. Zulu dominated the first half with 5 goals.

Monash eventually managed to earn themselves a second free kick, only to have it fall short on the feet of the Wits defence.

With a 7-goal lead going into the second half, Wits took less risks, running at the pace of their opponents. But with Monash lacking match fitness, Zulu casually netted an easy 8th goal.

Sphiwe Mkhonza, Monash’s coach responding to Wits’ dominance said “We won’t make excuses for not performing well even though they [team] only had a week of practice and preparation because Monash re-opened in mid-March,”.

Monash came back in the 2nd half more determined as they boosted their attack and staggering defence. Witsie Puleng “Mshini” Mofokeng broke the now aggressive defence force from Monash with a sharp 9th goal, five minutes into the 2nd half.

Wits added more 7 goals in the 2nd half which saw them walking away with a decisive 16-0 victory.

“Well the victory was what we had expected but little things still need to be fixed, such as positional discipline and not rushing things,” said Jabulile Baloyi, Wits coach.