Wits strolls into Nedbank Cup last-16

Ruthless Clever Boys send Boyne Tigers home with nothing after a 4-0 drubbing


 Bidvest’s Keegan Ritchie gives a Tiger player a tough time on the home pitch.                                                     Photo: Phumi Ramalepe


By: Phumi Ramalepe


Bidvest Wits secured their spot in the Last 16 after beating the amateur Boyne Tigers 4-0 in the Nedbank Cup’s Last 32 match at Bidvest stadium on the evening.

Relentless showers of rain and slippery grass presented no challenge to Wits’ Haashim Domingo who scored the team’s first goal in the 11th minute.

Less than ten minutes later, Scottish striker Simon Murray dribbled past the Tigers and passed the ball to Domingo who secured the second goal.

The unmerciful Clever Boys gave the timid Tigers a tough time on the pitch by dominating their weak defence. Murray scored the third goal in the 20th minute. The fourth goal was bagged by Murray again in the 38th minute.  

The striker was happy to have contributed to all four goals in the match. “You never know with an unknown team what you’re gonna get but it’s nice to contribute all four goals for the team. We got into the next round and hopefully we can make it to the finals”, he said to Wits Vuvuzela.

The Tigers returned with force in the second half trying to secure a goal, but were not successful, in spite of Bidvest not scoring any more goals in the second half.

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt told Wits Vuvuzela that he was impressed with the Boys’ performance.

“The performance was good and we in the 16. We’ll see how far we can go and take it from there. We obviously expect to win the Nedbank Cup,” he said.

A Wits supporter, Henrie Brownliy, thought the game was a breeze for the Clever Boys. “We don’t know the team really… so I think we had to suss them out in the first ten minutes. We put pressure on them… after that it was like a walk in the park,” he said. With a smile on his face, Brownliy added that “I think what’s important is the win.”

Bidvest Wits will be going head-to-head against Maritzburg United at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday, February 1, at 20:00 in the Premier Soccer League.



The Clever Boys show Orlando Pirates the door

Bidvest Wits beat Orlando Pirates 2-0 in Tuesday night’s mid-week encounter of the Premier Soccer League.

by Masego Panyane and Sinikiwe Mqadi

The Bidvest Wits side that slayed the Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

CLEVER BOYS: The Bidvest Wits side that silenced the mighty Soweto giants Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi


The battle for third place in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) continued after Bidvest Wits walked away with a convincing victory against Orlando Pirates at home last night.

The Clever Boys were simply on fire, scoring both goals in the opening 16 minutes of the game courtesy of Calvin Kadi.

The goals were Kadi’s first  in the season: “I am really happy that I managed to get two goals after a very long time without playing – it was a tough game,” he said.

In the second half The Buccaneers pushed forward but were kept at bay by Wits’ goalkeeper, Moneeb Josephs and the Wits defence.

Lennox Bacela tried to save his team by slotting in a goal in the 55th minute, but it was ruled an offside.

” Mistakes do happen and…You know I felt a bit sorry for the boy”.

The Clever Boys finished their match with 10 men, after Phumlani Ntshangase was shown the red card in the 84th minute after an unfair tackle on Lennox Bacela.

Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler acknowledged that a mistake made early on in the game by full back Patrick Phungwayo cost them the first goal. He said, “Mistakes do happen and … You know I felt a bit sorry for the boy”.

On the team’s performance in the match and how that affects their league race chances, Tinkler said: “The hype around the game and the importance of the game got to the players … so I think that’s why they possibly dropped their heads”.

This victory leaves Wits in fourth position on the league table. Wits and Pirates are now level on points, but The Clever Boys have one more game in hand.

The team is fighting to finish second on the PSL log but coach Gavin Hunt says there are challenges, “We are so thin of players, we are struggling with numbers … lots of injuries,” he said.

The Clever Boys will meet Chippa United on the 18th of April at Bidvest Stadium.

Bloem Celtics continue on winning streak, beating the Clever Boys

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bloemfontein Celtic has continued their winning streak by beating Bidvest Wits 1-0 on Friday night.

The winning goal was struck by Lerato Lamola in the 78th minute. His team mate, Musa Nyatama, was tackled unfairly by Siyabonga Nhlapo of Bidvest Wits. Nhlapo was given his second yellow card of the match, and was sent off. Nhlapo conceded a penalty which allowed the visitors to lead 1-0.

The Free State based team has been on a winning streak since the start of the Premier Soccer League in February this year

The game was hotly contested, with Bloemfontein Celtic’s coach, Clinton Larsen admitting that they had expected to work hard for their win. He said they watched how Wits dominated the game against Sundowns and he warned his players that, “Wits settle very quickly.”

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe  Mqadi

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Larsen added that his side was very disciplined and that Wits didn’t manage to break them down in the middle. He was delighted with the three points and said, “The boys worked hard for it.”

The game had a slow start with the players being unable to keep their balance on the wet pitch, due to rain earlier in the day.

As the players began to adjust to the pitch and the chilly Johannesburg air, Wits took their chances with a cross being played through from Shameegh Doutie to Jabulani Shongwe in the first 30 minutes of the game. The shot, like many others that Wits had on target, did not reach the back of the net.

Wits Goalkeeper, Moeneeb Josephs also had his work cut out for him as Bloemfontein Celtic attacked at every chance they got.

In the 43rd minute, Lerato Lamola after being served with a great ball from Man of the Match, Keegan Ritchie, failed to find the back of the net due to a vigilant save by Josephs.

Even though the first was goalless, the atmosphere was electric with the fans of The Clever Boys and those of Siwelele singing to keep their spirits up and themselves warm.

After the drastic turn of events in the 78th minute, the 10-man-side of Wits played solid football and managed to hold Celtics at one goal.

A disappointed Gavin Hunt said he believed that his side should have scored more goals. He said they were second in the league and not at the top, because they have not been scoring goals.

Wits remain at 40 points on the log table, 10 points below log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, whilst Bloemfontein Celtic walked away with three points.

SOCCER: Bidvest Wits take over Mamelodi Sundowns’ second place

The Clever Boys snatch second place on the log after a 1-0 victory over the Brazilians at home last night. 

DOWN TO THIRD PLACE: Mamelodi Sundowns dropped to third place with 37 points on the table while Sibusiso Vilakazi's 1-0 lead moved Bidvest Wits up to second place with 40 points.             Photo: Nqobile Dludla

DOWN TO THIRD PLACE: Mamelodi Sundowns dropped to third place with 37 points on the table while Sibusiso Vilakazi’s 1-0 lead moved Bidvest Wits up to second place with 40 points. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

A second half victory goal from Sibusiso Vilakazi ended the defending champions Mamelodi Sundown’s 15 game unbeaten run in the league at the Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night.

The hosts moved up to second place with 40 points, while Sundowns dropped to third place with 37 points.

Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane who was disappointed stressed that it was “a difficult game” as his men pushed hard against The Clever Boy’s defensive wall.

“We all want to win but tonight was not the night. Malajila could have stole it there but that did not happen . When the ball hits the post in the last minute and doesn’t go in, you just know that it’s not your night but you have to accept defeat”, said Mosimane.

The Clever Boys came out guns blazing with the first chance coming from Vilakazi at the far post, his chance was missed though as his attempt landed in the hands of goalkeeper Dennis Onyango in the first 2 minutes of the game.

Earning a chance from a set-piece, Jabulani Shongwe’s over the post shot hindered a lead from The Clever Boys who dominated with ball possession in the opening minutes .

The Brazilians finally made a run past the center line after three minutes into the game with Khama Billiat sneaking a pass to the fast paced Cuthbert Malajila who threatened to net one, but Thulani Hlatshwayo quickly stopped The Brazilians.

In the 19th minute Billiat tried for another chance which went straight to Moenneb Josephs.

A promising free kick from Teko Modise after he was tripped by Phumlani Ntshangase failed to materialize as Bidvest Wits applied pressure at the back.

The hopeful Kees Kwakman had a brilliant opportunity to send The Clever Boys into a lead in the 40th minute as he sent a potential lead goal straight over the goal post from inside the box, leaving Bidvest Wits fans shaking their heads in disappointment.

Gavin Hunt’s men won the tactical battle in the first half, but for all their dominance in the first half they still had no goals to show.

Sundowns came back from half time with a slight change of attitude as they bravely tried to keep their place as runners up on the log, but a duel  attack by Bidvest Wits players Henrico Botes and Faty inside the box sent Onyango and Ramahlwe Phahlele on the ground.

Winning a second set-piece, Sundowns Modise sent his shot well over the top from a good position following a desperate scramble from The Clever Boys defence.

Hunt’s men finally proved their dominance when Nhlapo passed a straight shot to Vilakazi who dribbled past the sliding Mphahlele and netted a lead goal.

Shongwe threatened to give The Clever boys another goal when his attempt was shot wide after receiving a pass from Vilakazi.

Sundowns nearly equalized the score when Malajila’s golden opportunity hit the right goal post.

With under two minutes to go, the Brazilians pushed hard to equalize, but as the minutes died out it was clear that Mosimane’s men will be forced to give way to Bidvest Wits as they collected three points with their victory.



SOCCER: Hunt praises Wits ‘kids’ after CAF debut


PLAYER OF THE FUTURE: Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt praised the performance of Markus Lecki, one of the new signings for the team. Photo: Nqobile Dludla.

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt was full of praise for his newly signed players after The Clever Boys tamed Swaziland’s Royal Leopards in the CAF Confederations Cup first leg at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.

The game, which saw Wits win 3-0, was led by the young debutants while the big names like Sibusiso Vilakazi,  Onismor Bhasera, Fatty Papy, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Moeneeb Josephs were rested in the stands.

Markus Lecki who formed a strong wall of defence at the back alongside Tebogo Moerane, lived up to Hunt’s predictions as “a player of the future.”

“Markus Lecki was fantastic at the back and certainly very good. He is quick at passing balls, very calm, good in the air, can play at the back, reads the ball well”, said Hunt.

Hunt strongly believes that letting the youngsters lead in the Caf Confederations Cup will train them for the next season when he signs all of them.

“We want to sign them up for next season. We need to play them in this competitive level. When we play  [Moroka] Swallows next week Tuesday, we’ll approach them as we did today. Play more kids, play more of them and put them in an environment that’s going to be hostile. So let’s see who has the guts and the makings of a player”, said Hunt.

Unleashing a 3-0 win

The start of the game in Johannesburg saw both sides come out guns blazing, with Ngcobo threatening, but failing, to head a lead goal in the opening minutes.

In the 40th- minute, Ngcobo came in again with a long shot from Christopher Katongo’s cross but instead went over the goal post frustrating the players.

A hopeful Royal Leopards’ Sikhumbuzo Ntimane tried to frustrate The Clever Boys even more when he tried to net in a lead but his attempt met the hands of Wits’ goalkeeper Boafela Pule.

A minute before the half-time whistle though, Ben Motshwari put The Clever Boys into the lead with a brilliantly executed strike.

Redeeming himself, Ngcobo fired in a header from Tebogo Moerane who dribbled past the fast paced Royal Leopards.

Vincent Pule’s persistence was evident in the second half where he tried to penetrate Royal Leopards’ wall, but his shot went wide of the target.  A second chance came in the 66th minute when Shameegh Doutie had the opportunity to put The Clever Boys in a 3:0 lead but his attempt met the hands of Mphikeleli Dlamini.

In the 78th minute, The Clever Boys took full advantage of their front line, with Ngcobo firing home Nyembezi Setelele’s cross for his second Bidvest Wits goal of the night, leaving the final score at 3-0.

Despite the competitiveness of Swaziland’s Royal Leopards, coach Sifiso Ntibane said his team “knew that they [Bidvest Wits] were going to put more goals in the box.”

“My boys tried. We were frustrating Wits in the first half, except in the last 30 seconds when they got a chance outside the box. All in all my boys were competing. They were there. That second goal my defender went out of the field and had a lump on his head and that’s when they got the space to get that second goal”, said Ntibane.

Pirates sink Bidvest Wits’ hopes of glory

Bidvest Wits went into the second leg of their match against Orlando Pirates with 2 goals already against them. Last night, Pirates put on a top-class performance at Orlando Stadium to move into the MTN 8 final with another 3 goals against the Clever Boys. The match finished 3-1.

Wits failed to stop the Buccaneers from reaching a fifth consecutive final and four MTN 8 final appearances in the last five years.

The Clever Boys came with intention to attack judging from their starting line up that included Sithembiso Ngcobo playing in the first half with hope to net one early in the first half.

Indeed in the first half, The Clever Boys showed consistency in pilling on the pressure from the start, leading with good ball possession and forcing Pirates back into their own half.

Bidvest Wits early goal attempt in the 3rd minute failed to put the team ahead when Vincent Pule’s shot went over the bar.

Ngcobo could have also have had a goal to his name if it wasn’t for a defence tackle from Happy Jele which saw Ngcobo’s attempt, combined with Toriq Losper’s pass go wide off.

Enjoying a sustained period of ball dominance, Bidvest Wits’ third chance came from defender Buhle Mkhwanazi, who out-ruled Siyabonga Sangweni in the 11th minute to steer his header that went wide of the mark from close range.

Pirates’ goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa had no trouble deflecting Bidvest Wits’ ambitious attempts when he saved Bidvest Wits’ captain, Sibusiso Vilakazi’ shot in the 30th minute.

Pirates started gaining momentum towards the end of the first half, with Erasmus, who often found himself off-side, breaking through Bidvest Wits’ backline with tremendous pace, only to have his efforts halted.

The second half kicked off with both teams’ score sheet still empty, putting more pressure on the Wits side as time was running out and still no early goal from Wits.

Wits nearly scored a minute after halftime when Ngcobo steered his header wide of the target.

Erasmus took charge again when he paced through Wits’ backline and finished with a solid lead goal. Wits quickly closed the widening score gap when Gataneh Kebede won and converted an equalising penalty kick in the 76th minute.

Pirates coach, Vladimir Vermerzovic’s game changer, Lehlohonolo Majoro impressed the crowd when he came on and netted a brilliantly angled shot received from Sifiso Myeni’s header in the 84th minute, making Orlando Pirates lead with a 2-1.

Without hesitation, the striker finished a 3-1 lead when he strategically beat the offside trap and sent his shot over Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane who advanced towards “Major” in an attempt to deflect his 2nd victory.

Major’s finish made the climb steeper for Wits who could not cover four goals to advance to the final stage.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt was clearly disappointed: “We were dead and buried even before they scored the first goal”.

“All credit to them for breaking away on the second goal of death, we were dead and buried even before they scored the first goal”, said Hunt.

Wits’ Clever Boys kick off the season with a solid start


CAPTAINS DUEL: Sibusiso Vilakazi battles for the ball with Maritzburg United captain Ashley Hartog in a match which saw the Clever Boys create multiple chances but manage to only score a solitary goal. Photo: Luca Kotton

CAPTAIN’S DUEL: Sibusiso Vilakazi battles for the ball with Maritzburg United captain Ashley Hartog in a match which saw the Clever Boys create multiple chances but manage to only score a solitary goal. Photo: Luca Kotton

Bidvest Wits beat Maritzburg United by a solitary goal to remain unbeaten in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) at Bidvest Stadium this evening.

The Clever Boys started the match with a number of new players and managed to create multiple scoring opportunities but ended the game with little to show for it apart from the goal of Sthembiso Ngcobo.

The change in formation with no wingers in midfield and two strikers upfront seemed to challenge the home side’s creativity.

Gavin Hunt, Bidvest Wits coach told Wits Vuvuzela after the match: ”To play with two strikers you have to play with no width, so we played with no width today although on Sunday we tried and we just got burnt.”

Phumlani Ntshangase played his first game of the season for the Clever Boys, received the man of the match award along with weighty praise from the coach.

“He was the difference in the team, he was fantastic … I should have put him in a long time ago bit obviously he was suspended in the beginning of the season and now he can come in,” Hunt said.

Cornelis Kwakman, a Wits defender, also played his first game since arriving from the Netherlands and kept a clean sheet for his team, putting himself in strong contention for selection as the team’s main centre back.

Kwakman told Wits Vuvuzela: “The teams performance was very good, if you saw the pitch it was very difficult to play. We had a lot of chances today, I have not seen more chances for the team this whole season.”

The Clever Boys face Orlando Pirates in the second leg of the MTN8 at Orlando Stadium this Saturday with a two goal deficit working against them.

Sports to become mahala?

DERBY DAY: Professor Adam Habib and Bidvest Wits Coach Gavin Hunt swopped pleasantries as the Clever Boys rare for their derby clash with TUKS. Photo: Luca Kotton

DERBY DAY: Vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib and Bidvest Wits Coach Gavin Hunt swopped pleasantries as the
Clever Boys prepare for their derby clash with TUKS. Photo: Luca Kotton

EXTRA-curricular activities, including sports should not be an extra cost to students,according to Wits Vice-chancellor Prof Adam Habib.

“I would like to stop charging fees for sports … [Now] you have to pay for accessing basic recreational sports, maybe if you play high performance sports it’s a different matter but recreational sports should be open access in the fees,” Habib said.

Habib made his comments at a jersey handover ceremony with Wits Clever Boys coach Gavin Hunt.

SRC president Shafee Verachia told Wits Vuvuzela that the discussion to end fees for extra-curricular clubs and societies has already begun.

“We already started this discussion with [Deputy Vice-chancellor] Prof Tawana Kupe and it’s not only sports it’s also the various other clubs and societies,”

“The extra out classroom activities are not accessible to most of our students. Students on bursaries, National Student Financial Aid Scheme and student loans are affected because all these structures don’t include
extra-curricular activities in their payments,”Verachia added.

Habib said the university’s current fee structure was confusing and should be simplified.
“You must be a PhD student to understand our fees structure because you have the fee, then for the course and for the club and society,” Habib said.

He added that when he went to university there was only a single fee that included extra-curricular clubs and societies.

“If somebody wants to play tennis or do cross country then we shouldn’t be charging them for the basic stuff , the infrastructure is there and it’s not costing anything so why should we be charging,” Habib said.


Bidvest Wits trash Bloem Celtic on penalties to advance to semis

Bloem Celtic team mates consoling tearful Limbikani Mzava's penalty was saved by Mabokgwane, witnessing The Clever Boys advancing to the semi-finals with a 4-3 lead. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END: Bloem Celtic team mates consoling tearful Limbikani Mzava after his penalty was saved by Mabokgwane, seeing The Clever Boys advance to the semi-finals with a 4-3 score.                                                                                                                                      Photo: Nqobile Dludla

By Nqobile Dludla and Luca Kotton

Bivest Wits advanced to the semi-finals of the season’s first big tournament after trashing Bloemfontein Celtic 4-3 on penalties at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.

Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane won the game for the Clever Boys by saving an attempt from Celtic’s Limbikani Mzava with the game at 4-3 in the MTN8 tournament.  The match ended goalless after 120 minutes of play.

First to take the penalty from The Clever Boys was newly signed midfielder Dillon Sheppard who sent Bloem Celtic goalkeeper, Patrick Tignyemb flying the opposite direction giving his team a 1-0 lead.

Trying to catch up to The Clever Boys, Alfred Ndengane’s attempt was quickly deflected by Mabokgwane leaving the penalty score at 1-0.

Toriq Losper and Relato Lamola both added to the scoreboard, putting Bidvest Wits 2-1 over Celtic.

Despite the the crowd cheering on Clever Boys captain Sibusiso Vilakazi as he prepared to take a shot at penalty, he was denied by Tignyemb allowing Celtic to recover to 2-2 after Musa Lakay slotted his shot in. But Sthembiso Ngcobo quickly advanced the home team, earning Wits a 3-2 lead.

The unavoidable scoring machine, Joel Mogorosi caught up with The Clever Boys, equalising the score. While Phunya Sele Sele were still enjoying the equal scoreline, Onismor Bhasera sent Tignyemb flying the opposite direction, putting The Clever Boys in the lead with 4-3.

The goalless draw

The opening half saw Bidvest Wits failing to capitalise on promising goal opportunities. New defender Buhle Mkhwanazi’s header failed to materialise after receiving a corner kick from man of the match, Toriq Losper, sending it well wide.

While a failed free kick from Jabulani Shongwe had Bloem Celtic goalkeeper, Tignyemb reminding The Clever Boys why he is the best at what he does, the Witsies maintained pressure on the Bloem Celtic back line.

Coming in for a rebound, Losper’s header was denied by Tignyemb after receiving a well angled pass from Henrico Botes.

Bidvest Wits’ were often awarded corner kicks much to the frustration of Bloem Celtic coach, Ernst Middendorp, who spent a good part of the match jumping up and down on the sidelines and punching the air in frustration.

“There were a lot of fouls from Wits to which the referee refused to take notice of”, Middendorp said after the match.

Despite Midderndorp’s frustration, Bloem Celtic’s Ruben Cloete managed to break the Clever Boys back line only to have his attempt fly over the top of Mabokgwane’s goal post.

While the game gained momentum towards the dying minutes of the second half, the score still stood at 0-0 at stoppage time witnessing the game move into 30 minutes of extra time.

Bidvest Wits coach, Gavin Hunt told Wits Vuvuzela after the match: “We had a couple of opportunities and they [Bloem Celtic] also had a good couple of opportunities. I thought they battled well; they worked hard and outfought us but we stuck and held our ground”.