Nqobile Dludla and Boipelo Boikhutso
FROM ZEROS TO HEROS: Henrico Botes (on the floor) scored the ultimate final goal, sending The Clever Boys to the quarterfinal of the Nedbank Cup with 3 goals. Photo: Nqobile Dludla
Bidvest Wits are through to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup after defeating University of Pretoria (AmaTuks), 3-0 at the Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night.
The opening goal came from Dutchman Cornelis Kwakman in the 39th minute who landed a lead goal at the back of the net from a set-piece. Sibusiso Vilakazi came in the 56th minute and doubled their lead when he dribbled past Grant Kekana and shot past Washington Arubi.
Striker Henrico Botes added a goal in the 63rd minute after receiving a pass from Ben Motshwari.
Commenting on the first goal scored by Kwakman, Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt said “It broke the ice” for the game as both sides tried to break the deadlock in the opening minutes of the game.
“It was a hell of a goal wasn’t it? Jeez I mean he scored three goals and couple of weeks ago he scored one just like that. Fantastic goal!”, said Hunt.
Although The Clever Boys managed to break the deadlock, Hunt said the first half was “edgy” in terms of performance.
“We couldn’t get our passes and our movement and synchronization going. But we got much better in the second half as the game went on. We just lack a little bit of confidence, I guess after last week. All in all it was a great performance in the second half,” said Hunt.
Hunt hopes that his team maintains better “consistency” in the next games after suffering back-to-back Absa Premiership League defeats in recent games.
“I know the potential in the team. I mean from Tuesday to Tuesday we went from heros to zeros because we beat Sundowns and then we lost two games and then we won again,” added Hunt.
The opening proved to be difficult as both sides were determined to break the deadlock. The first chance for Bidvest Wits came after just 20 minutes when Sibusiso Vilakazi passed a promising shot to Papy Faty whose attempt went over the post.
AmaTuks tried to score straight after but Moeneeb Josephs was too quick for Geofrey Massa’s header.
The Clever Boys, who fielded the 16-year-old Liam Jordan last night, managed to hold on to their lead and secured themselves a place in the quarterfinals.
Post-match interview with AmaTuks coach Sammy Troughton
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.