AN own goal halfway through the second half cost Wits men’s soccer team a top four spot in the USSA (University Sports South Africa) league.
The Wits men played their last league game on Tuesday night against TUT Soshanguve.
They had to win the encounter while TUT needed only a draw to go through to the national playoffs.
A TUT corner kick saw a scramble for the ball, resulting in Wits’s Bandile Mathandela’s attempt to clear roll into his own net.
Wits lost the possession they had gained at the beginning of the first half and lacked the firepower at the front of the posts.
They struggled to keep up with TUT, who attacked mainly from the wings.
After the final whistle, the Wits men missed out on a fourth place spot and had to settle for fifth place, the same position their female counterparts occupy on their league.
Wits men’s coach Karabo Modupi said his boys struggled with nerves as they knew they had to win and their opponents needed a draw.
Similar sentiments were echoed by women’s coach, Dennis Tshabalala, after the women lost to the University of Pretoria last Thursday at home and missed out on the play-offs.
Modupi said he needs to work on the mental aspect of the game with his boys and that he hoped the university would support them with playing in the Castle League.
“Our competitive level can be higher because most of the teams we play against such as UJ play in that league.”
The women gave Wits something to smile about when they beat TUT 3-2 last night, and ended their USSA league fixtures.