The dream to finish in the top five of the Johannesburg Men’s Regional League takes a knock as Wits lose at home.

Wits Kudus Football Club lost 2-3 after a nail-biting match against Orlando Pirates Football Club on Saturday, April 22, at the Wits Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia.

This came after two consecutive losses in the Johannesburg Men’s Regional League against Inqaba FC and Orange Army FC. As a result, the Kudus remain in ninth place, while Orlando Pirates FC are fourth. 

The scorching sun foreshadowed the high intensity match that was to come as Orlando Pirates dominated the first half of the match with Siyabonga Ngwenya, France Modiba and Lukho Ziwele scoring within 35 minutes. Wits striker Siyamdumisa Zulu managed to secure their first goal in the 40th minute.  

During the second half, Kudu midfielder Thembalethu Machaba came to the rescue in the 63rd minute by scoring the team’s second goal. Pirates goalkeeper, Jayden Van Der Walt, successfully blocked a goal attempt by left winger, Sithembiso Mkhwanazi, in the 87th minute.  

Kudus goalkeeper Samkele Shilubana was not happy about the team’s performance in the first half. “It was a bad game. My first mistake [was] within the first [few] minutes of the game which led to a drop in the confidence of the team [and] from that point [onwards] the whole game just switched.”  

Orlando Pirates player, Malesela Modiba, and Wits Kudus player, Katlego Moruane, race for the ball. Photo: Rethabile Mafisa

However, he remained hopeful for the next game. “It is just a matter of working harder to rectify mistakes in the next game which will boost [the team’s] confidence and take on the remaining games in the league perfectly,” said Shilubana.  

A spectator, Paballo Mazibuko, commended the Kudus for taking more control of the game in the second half and said Pirates were lucky not to concede more goals. 

With 33 points, the Kudus have seven games left to try for a spot in the top five of the league.

Kudus coach Musawenkosi Ngobese commended striker Siyamdumisa Zulu for his performance. “He has been a better player for the past couple of games. He showed a lot of consistency and hunger and fighting for the team, but unfortunately a team consists of 11 players; you cannot do it alone.”  The Kudus’ next match is scheduled for April 27 against Bossolona FC at Trezona Park, Roodepoort. In their previous encounter, on March 15, the Kudus beat Bossolona FC  4-3. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Wits Kudus distraught after losing against Orlando Pirates at Marks Park Sports Club on Saturday April 22. Photo: Rethabile Mafisa