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.
CHASING DOWN: Buhle Mkhwanazi of Bidvest Wits watches Kermit Erasmus run past him during their MTN8 semi-final clash. The Clever boys are chasing Pirates after the Buccaneers took a two goal lead in the two match tie. Photo: Luca Kotton
Orlando Pirates outsmarted the Clever Boys in a 2-0 victory at a packed Bidvest Stadium earlier this afternoon.
The win leaves Pirates in a commanding position over Bidvest Wits in the two-leg MTN8 semi-final.
The Buccaneers tactically looked stronger than the home team with ample goal-scoring opportunities and a very tight defence.
Pirates coach, Vladimir Vermezovic told Wits Vuvuzela,”Every game is a battle on the field, at the end of the day everything depends on players. We as coaches can prepare strategy and tactical approach but everything depends on them. Fortunately , the players did everything we told them before the game.”
The match started in typical fashion for both top-placed Premier League sides with Pirates dominating possession but unable to create any telling opportunities.
The first half ended scoreless but early in the second half, a Daine Klate corner-kick was met by the head of Orlando Pirates captain Siyabonga Sangweni for the first goal of the match.
After the goal, Bidvest Wits pushed for the equaliser, however, after missing a golden chance to score in the Pirates box, the away side countered with more pace and pressure.
Thabo Matlaba netted the second for the Buccaneers, with a composed finish past the helpless Thapelo “Jackson” Mabokgwane who was left one-on-one with the Pirates defender.
The game ended with Bidvest Wits unable to break down the defence of Vermezovic’s men who held the score at 2-0.
Bidvest Wits will travel to Orlando Stadium next week Saturday with a mountain of a two-goal deficit to to climb.
Vermezovich added,” We realise that 2-0 is a very dangerous result and Wits is also a very strong team and we won’t underestimate them, after today’s result.”