Clever Boys end season with a win at home 

Bidvest Wits come away with their second consecutive third place in the Absa Premiership. Although Wits let their guard down in the last game of the season, they came away with a win at home.


HUMBLE WITS:Bidvest Wits squad posing for a photo with fans on the field after the game. Photo: Anlerie de Wet

The Clever Boys slipped one goal past the Platinum Stars earlier today to finish third, one above Orlando Pirates, on the Absa Premiership table.

After taking to the field at the Bidvest stadium, the teams joined the crowd in a moment of silence for the victims of xenophobia. 

The first half was very slow paced with Bidvest Wits holding the majority of the ball possession. The home team received many opportunities at goal but struggled to push it through.

After a number of attempts at goal,  Vincent Pule, in the number twelve jersey, sliced the ball past five Platinum Stars players to put Wits on the score board in the 30th minute.

In the last twenty minutes of the game play slowed as both teams seemed to have lost focus.

The ref gave an extra four minutes for injury time in which Hunt instructed his team to keep the ball and let the time run out. As time ran out Wits kicked the ball out of play and the final whistle blew.

“I’m happy we managed to get a point, but we just couldn’t convert chances,” said Bidvest Wits captain, Buhle Makwanazi.
“Platinum Stars have good individual players and are not an easy team to face … although we played well, we need to work on conversions,” said Makhwanazi.

Wits’ goal for the 2014/2015 premiership was to surpass last year’s third place season finish, according to coach Gavin Hunt. “We wanted to do better this year, but third is still fantastic,” Hunt said. 

Compared to last season’s statistics, Bidvest Wits are down by three points and had one less win. Kaizer Chiefs won the premiership with Mamelodi Sundowns finishing in second.  

Wits and Pretoria share the derby spoils

Flying High: Dillon Sheppard warms up before Bidvest Wits draw with AmaTuks. The Clever Boys have four points and are in top half of the table. Photo: Luca Kotton

FLYING HIGH: Dillon Sheppard warms up before Bidvest Wits draw with AmaTuks. The Clever Boys have four points and are in top half of the table.                                                                                Photo: Luca Kotton

Wits’ top ranked soccer team piled on the pressure on varsity derby visitors University of Pretoria on Tuesday night finishing the game with a draw.

“There’s no doubt that they put us under pressure”, said University of Pretoria head coach, Steve Barker of the 1-1 scoreline with the Clever Boys at the Bidvest Wits stadium.

“Wits are a very good team in terms of putting under pressure especially when they got [sic] players like Hendrico Botes … We don’t have the biggest players at the back but if you look at Tebogo Monyai, tonight for me credit goes to him”, said Barker.

Both teams walked away with a point and Barker says if they can get points at Wits “then I believe we can go anywhere and get points”.

AmaTuks’ Atusaye Nyondo netted a goal in the first five minutes of the game sending AmaTuks supporters up in the air as they jumped up and down in jubilation.

“There’s no doubt that they put us under pressure”

Geoffrey Massa broke and sped past the home side before shooting a pass for Nyondo to net right in the top corner.

Threatening to give AmaTuks a second goal, Vuyisile Ntombiayithethi tried his luck with a long range shot that quickly fell short of putting the visitors ahead.

Protecting home turf, the Clever Boys captain, Sibusiso Vilakazi took a dangerous free kick which saw the visitors’ defenders scrambling to protect themselves inside the box, only to have Vilakazi’s attempt hit the crossbar.

Before being stretchered off the field, Nyondo posed a significant threat to Jackson Mabokgwane who quickly deflected Nyondo’s effort.

The Clever Boys persisted and applied pressure on AmaTuks’ back line. Falling short however, Maliele Pule’s set piece saw the ball sailing over the top of AmaTuks goal post.

Nearing the end of the first half, the score still stood with AmaTuks leading with 1-0 to Bidvest Wits.

The second half saw a lot more hard work from the Clever Boys who dominated with ball possession.

This domination almost had Bidvest Wits equalising two minutes into the second forty-five when Arubi missed his chance to deflect the ball quickly enough, but to his luck, AmaTuks defender cleared the ball when Christopher Katongo went in for a rebound attempt.

Bidvest Wits finally picked up a point when Botes slotted the ball in from the left side of the box, equalising the game.

Clever boys end losing streak

A SET piece goal from Timothy Batabaire avoided a 6th consecutive loss for Bidvest Wits in the Absa Premiership. The Clever Boys played to a 1 – 1 draw against Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday night at the Bidvest Stadium.

Only a handful of fans braved the chilly Joburg weather to watch the match, which saw Ajax dominate possession early in the game.

Their consistency paid off in the 10th minute when Thembinkosi Fanteni opened the score sheet after he beat the keeper from close range.

Wits’ first real chance at scoring came from Sifiso Vilakazi ten minutes later, with a left-footed shot that went over the crossbar. Vilakazi subsequently missed another chance at goal in the 20th minute when he failed to convert a cross from Katleho Pule from 25 yards.

In the 59th minute, Ajax’s slim lead was cancelled by Batabaire’s equalizer.

A late strike by Asive Langwe in the 82nd minute was deflected over the bar by Ajax goalkeeper Sander Westerveld.

“We’ve conceded a lot of silly goals”.

Bidvest Wits coach Roger De Sa said it was “expected” of the Clever Boys to equalize. “They’ve got fantastic character, they come from a development that’s well groomed”, he said.

The coach lamented the careless mistakes which his players sometimes made. “It’s just the silly goals we concede sometimes that become a bigger problem for us, and we’ve conceded a lot of silly goals this year out of silly errors,” he said.

Wits take on log leader Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday, just 3 days after their encounter with Ajax. “We don’t have too much time to prepare, it’s more a question of rest”, De Sa said.

Wits beat Pirates in their last PSL encounter 3 – 1. Wits is currently 13th in the Absa Premiership log table, and haven’t yet won a game this year.

CHASING VICTORY: Wits is currently 13th in the ABSA Premiership log table, and haven' won a game this year.


Published in Vuvuzela 12th edition, 20th April 2012.

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THE final round of Absa Premiership games ends tomorrow afternoon with Ajax Cape Town in the driver’s seat to clinch their first premiership title.

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates still have an outside chance of “stealing the glory” from Ajax should the latter fail to bank maximum points against Maritzburg United at Cape Town Stadium.

Meanwhile, at Bidvest Stadium the Clever Boys, as the Wits soccer team is known, have been labouring in physical activity in preparation for their final league game against Platinum Stars. Wits will be hoping to win the game and end the season on a positive note by qualifying for the MTN 8 Cup knockout which starts at the beginning of next season.

Wits coach Roger De Sa described the season’s performance as “satisfactory” and is pleased that the team is “among the top overall scorers in the league”.

Wits has not managed to win silverware this season and, moreover, relinquished their possession of the Nedbank Cup title with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Chiefs in the second round. Despite this, De Sa remains optimistic about next season and urges his players to continue giving of their best.

“The players always show 100% commitment whether they get selected to play or not. If we can continue playing our normal attacking football and tighten the defence as well, I think we will do better next season,” he said.

At one stage during the season one would have thought Wits would be a contender for the premiership after an impressive run of victories at Bidvest Stadium. It was however not to be, with the team managing a single win in their last five games and adversely affecting their league standing.

There is still plenty of enthusiasm from the players which is impressive especially at the very end of the season. The players have had a physically draining season and regardless of this, midfielder Stanton Fredericks believes that “it is up to the players to be professional until the end, because the commitment we [the players] show in training will be reflected in the game”.

Fredericks was backed by teammate Sifiso Myeni, who recently won his first Bafana Bafana cap in a 1-0 win away to Tanzania, when he said: “If we all put in a good performance we can beat Platinum Stars and keep our home record to just one league defeat this season”.