Victory over Maritzburg United has left Clever Boys unbeaten in nine matches (more…)
The Clever Boys came back from a spirit dampening loss against Mamelodi Sundowns last week to taking the third spot on the log after showing Maritzburg United how its done.
ROUND THREE of the Absa Premiership saw Bidvest Wits beat their KwaZulu-Natal guests at home Wednesday night and slide into a familiar third place on the rankings.
Maritzburg United’s captain Ashley Hartog made a visible effort to keep the players forged in Jozi from scoring, but two powerful goals flew past him and his team.
After what was a very slow start for the Clever Boys with a couple of failed open shots at goal, New Zealander Kris Bright scored a beauty from Daine Klaite’s corner kick.
Bright had a massive game and worked well with Elias Pelembe and Sibusiso Vilakazi until he was sent to rest in the middle of the second half.
Wits kicked-off the second half with Vilakazi’s right boot directing the ball past the Maritzburg goalie, Virgil Vries, to stretch the home side’s lead to 2-0. This goal came two minutes after the start of the half with a great assist from debutant Bright.
With many attempts at goal none of the teams seemed to be able to score after Vilakazi’s success, leaving the final score at 2-0.
The discipline in this game was something to strive for in the rest of the season. There were only a total of three yellow cards between the two teams as Wits already had five yellows against them from two games and Maritzburg a troubling 13.
Wits managed to move-up the rankings from 10th to 3rd with six points, just below their Ajax Cape Town rivals. But the Maritzburg boys failed to sway away from their 15th position.
Although the Clever Boys’ performance is a step-up from that of their 4-2 defeat last week against Mamelodi Sundowns, they still failed to convert a couple of easy opportunities. They won’t get away with these slip-ups as easily when they face the calibre of Ajax this Saturday in the MTN 8 semi-finals.
Bidvest Wits will be taking on AmaTuks in their next Absa Premiership round on September 13 in Pretoria.
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.
BIDVEST WITS has moved all of its attention to the Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates, after sealing third place in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The final will take place on May 17 at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban, after much discussion amongst the Nedbank Cup organising committee and the PSL.
The Clever Boys final showdown against Orlando Pirates will be the biggest match of the season for the Braamfontein-based team, which will be looking to pick up silverware for the first time since 2010. Incidentally, the trophy the team won then was the Nedbank Cup.
Hunt vs Vermezovich
Orlando Pirates are under the reign of their recently appointed coach, Vladimir Vermezovich, who only took charge of the team almost a month after his appointment due to work permit
issues. Vermezovich guided his previous team, Kaizer Chiefs, to two cup finals but never a Nedbank Cup victory.
The Serbian coach was confident of his team’s victory in the final and said: “It will be a disgrace for a team of Orlando Pirates calibre to go a season without a trophy, so we will have to win this one.”
In contrast, Gavin Hunt, the Bidvest Wits coach has tasted success in the Nedbank Cup with his previous team. Hunt guided Supersport United to a Nedbank Cup victory in 2012.
How the teams face up
In head-to-head statistics, the Buccaneers hold the edge over the Clever Boys as they have won 24 of the teams clashes with their opponents having only won 12. Their last two matches in the current season saw a home win for Orlando Pirates in February and a stalemate at the Bidvest stadium at the end of April. Going on the head-to-head games the outlook wouldn’t be positive for the Clever Boys trophy aspirations but Hunt had
previously told Wits Vuvuzela, “Cup games are completely different to league games, you can’t compare.”
Fringe players get the chance
Wits failed to beat Maritzburg United in their last home game of the season on Tuesday night and Hunt gave many of his fringe players an opportunity to play, making nine changes from the team that won the Nedbank Cup semi-final against Kaizer Chiefs. Hunt said: “I gave players a chance but the players are not good enough, some of them. Some players have been here for two or three years now and they won’t be here next season.”
Who will be missing?
Hunt said he would go back to his “A” team for the Nedbank final.The only big blow for the Clever Boys will be the absence of Papy Faty who is out for nine months after a tackle from Oupa Manyisa in Bidvest Wits’ last home clash against the Buccaneers.
Orlando Pirates may be without striker Lennox Bacela, who injured his ankle in their 2-1 semifinal win over Maritzburg United.
The final in Durban which will see the winning team bagging R7-million in prize money is sure to be a spectacle. PSL chief executive, Brand de Villiers said: “We are planning a spectacular event on May 17 and we urge football fans to purchase their tickets early.”
Danielle van de Merwe, the Bidvest Wits marketing manager, told Wits Vuvuzela: “The club will notify the supporter club members of any travel arrangements made.”
A drastically changed Clever Boys team lost to Maritzburg United 1-0 in their last home game of the season at Bidvest Stadium tonight.
Nine players from Saturday’s Nedbank Cup win over Kaizer Chiefs were replaced in the match against Maritzburg, in what was in effect a dead rubber for both sides. Maritzburg had already avoided relegation and have no chance of reaching the top eight in the league.
In contrast the Clever Boys have secured third position and cannot drop or climb the table in their last league game of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) season against Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday.
The first half was a stalemate with both teams evenly matched.
Both teams saw half opportunities which were squandered by the players.
The game had lacked the the usual pace and excitement from both teams with players looking fatigued.
In the second half Maritzburg United seemed to kick into higher gear as their coach, Steve Khompela, made all three substitutes with 30 minutes still lefton the clock.
The switch paid off for Khompela as his players responded with a goal in the 70th minute by Kurt Lentjies, which proved to be decisive blow.
Following the loss Bidvest Wits coach, Gavin Hunt, told Wits Vuvuzela that none of the players on the field were particularly impressive.
Responding to a question about the team selection for next Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates, the coach as adamant: ” Back to the A-team,” he said.
The Clever Boys are into the Nedbank Cup final with a resounding victory over Kaizer Chiefs on home turf earlier this afternoon.
The semi-final clash ended on equal terms (2-2) after extra time but Wits overcame the AmaKhosi 4-2 on penalties to win the tightly contested match at the Bidvest Stadium.
The first half of the match saw both teams return to the dressing room with a goal a piece. The Clever Boys broke the deadlock with captain Sibusiso Vilakazi netting a penalty past Chiefs captain, Itumeleng Khune.
Shortly after, another penalty was awarded, this time in Chief’s favour, with striker, Katlego Mphela, netting the equaliser.
Wits started the second half strongly with an early goal by ex- Chiefs striker, Amos Ngcobo. This was cancelled out by an easy tap in from George Maluleka after some good work by Kingston Nkhata, who was booed the during the entire match by his own supporters.
The first half of extra time held nothing exciting with both teams taking a cautious approach. The second half though saw pressure from Kaizer Chiefs, which saw them hitting the post in the first few seconds. Wits rarely troubled Chiefs in the last few minutes as the score held out to go into penalties.
Wits sealed the win by netting every one of their four penalties. Chiefs though, had failed to score two of their penalties with a miss by the iconic Siphiwe Tshabalala. Wits’ Moeneeb Joseph also managed a save against Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
Clever Boys coach, Gavin Hunt, was delighted by the victory and at the prospect of playing in a big final. Speaking exclusively to Wits Vuvuzela after the match, Hunt said, “it’s going to be a hell of a game whoever we play, where we play is going to big thing because the venue is always important.”
Wits will face the winners of the Orlando Pirates/Maritzburg United match later tonight at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
The date and venue of the game is yet to be decided and will be announced after the conclusion of the second semi-final later this evening.