Bidvest Wits’ hopes of back-to-back Nedbank Cup titles perished on Sunday after Kaizer Chiefs annihilated them 4-0 at the Bidvest Stadium.
The Clever Boys looked nothing like the team that held Amakhosi to a 1-1 draw during their midweek Absa Premiership game, and lacked the edge of the Wits that beat Santos in their first game of the tournament.
Both teams were cautious in the opening minutes, with very little in the way of creativity from the midfield. Chiefs were the first to settle down with Reneilwe Letsholonyane dominating the battle in the middle.
Wits’ forwards Sibusiso Vilakazi and Stanton Fredericks simply could not get near the Chiefs men and the possession paid off in the 15th minute.
Sthembiso Ngcobo looked one way and passed the other to set up Siphiwe Tshabalala to burst through on goal, which rounded Darren Keet in the Wits goal, and slotted home into an empty net.
Chiefs looked like scoring with every attack they made. The midfield combination of Letsholonyane and Josta Dladla kept the ball superbly with Tshabalala looking especially dangerous. A second goal seemed inevitable and Chiefs got it through a corner.
Keet gave up a soft corner and will now wish he hadn’t as a goal mouth scrap resulted in the ball falling right to Ngcobo who had an easy finish to double the visitors’ lead.
Wits were sent out early for the second half, no doubt after receiving a lashing from coach Roger De Sa. They did seem to play with more purpose in the second period, with the introduction of Ryan Chapman adding pace to the midfield.
Like the first half though, Chiefs found their groove and once again started to dominate possession and territory. Tshabalala should have doubled his lead when he broke down the left but put his effort over the bar from a wide angle.
He made up for his mistake however, as a minute later he increased the lead to 3-0. In a similar move down the left, Tshabalala managed to isolate Katlego Pule.
Wits defenders Patrick Phungwayo and captain Tefu Mashamaite had a difficult afternoon guarding Siphiwe Tshabalala and his fellow strikers .
Chiefs had numerous chances to extend the lead but had to wait until the 87th minute when the substitute George Lebese provided the icing on the cake for the Phefeni Glamour Boys when he scored Chiefs`s fourth goal with a brilliant 22-yard free-kick that wrong-footed Keet.
To make matters worse, Wits finished the game with 10 men after Sifiso Myeni was shown a straight red card in stoppage time for some foul language and rude gestures towards the referee.
The sold out BidVest Stadium was covered with supporters of the black and gold but Wits FC supporters were difficult to spot. Wits`s support during their Nedbank Cup home games has been dismal, as about 400 supporters overall watched their first game against Santos.
The win sees Chiefs progress to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup for the first time.
Roger De Sa are now left to maintain their position in the Top 8 of the domestic league and qualify for the MTN 8 Cup.