SOCCER: Orlando Pirates take Nedbank Cup honours over Wits

RUNNER UP: Gavin Hunt, Bidvest Wits coach shows his emotions during a home game against Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

RUNNER UP: Gavin Hunt, Bidvest Wits coach, shows his emotions during a home game against Kaizer Chiefs ealier this year. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Orlando Pirates lifted the Nedbank Cup trophy today with a 3-1 victory over Bidvest Wits at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The Buccaneers have lost in three previous finals and this win over the Clever Boys finally gives their fans some needed relief along with a R7-million cheque for the club.

The 3-1 score line was not a true reflection of the game according to Bidvest coach, Gavin Hunt, who was visibly upset after the game.

Hunt said, ” The players are distraught, they know they were robbed.”

When asked if Bidvest Wits is looking to improve, he said,”Other institutions of football should improve, it was a disgrace,” pointing to his disapproval of the referee’s decisions.

Pirates were looking to win their first of four finals this season and got off to a shaky start with an early goal in the 27 minute by the Clever Boys midfielder, Jabulani Shongwe.

The first half was a physical affair with Orlando Pirates boasting the majority of possession with 56% but trailing Wits by one goal.

The Champions came out in the second half with renewed energy and were rewarded after 53 minutes by a Kermit Erasmus goal.

The on-field tension eventually erupted into a full on fracas involving managers, technical staff and players in the second half.

But Pirates were not easily distracted and  former Bidvest Wits player, Sifiso Myeni netted the second goal putting his team  2-1 ahead.

The match was all but sealed with the second Erasmus goal after 73 minutes. The striker deservedly ended the game with the man of the match award.


SOCCER: The Clever Boys look forward to Nedbank Cup Final

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.

HEATED AFFAIR: Bidvest Wits players clash with their Orlando Pirates counterparts in the last match between the teams. Photo: Luca Kotton

HEATED AFFAIR: Bidvest Wits players clash with their Orlando Pirates
counterparts in the last match between the teams. Photo: Luca Kotton

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 spectacle

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.”