Bidvest Wits was hopeful they would be climbing up to the top position but fortune favoured the Buccaneers.
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.
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.
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.”
With the Premier Soccer League(PSL) season edging ever closer, we look back at last season’s statistics and highlights.
Nine new players have joined premier league side Bidvest Wits ahead of the start of the season in August.
Gavin Hunt, Bidvest coach, appears to have gone with a mix of youth and experience, with five of the new signings over 30-years-old.
Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Hunt said, “The team was very thin in defence, I lost some defenders last season so I had to replace them and strengthen the squad.”
“With the new guys on board, they bring a lot experience, played a lot games between them, versatile in their positions and that’s why we bought them.”
The experienced players include Platinum Stars striker Henrico Botes, Maritzburg United left-side player Dillon Shepard, Moroko Swallows defensive player Giorgi Nergadze, Zambian Christopher Katongo and Dutch Eredivisie star Kees Kwakman.
Hunt also opted for four young talents with Nedbank Cup young player nominee Vincent Pule And University of Pretoria star Buhle Mkhwanazi.
Thulani Hlatshwayo from Ajax Cape Town and 20-year-old Mthokozisi Msomi from Roses United, also join the squad which finished third in the league last season.
When Hunt was asked if he leans on either youth or experience, he said, “A bit of everything, we have lots of young players in the squad and the new signings were brought in to bring stability and help the young ones come on. The reason we came third was because we lacked experience and the combination of youth plus experience is what’s needed for season.”
Hunt will need the experience of the new signings as the team looks likely to participate in this year’s Confederations Cup based on a decision by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to increase the number of South Africa teams in the competition to four. Bidvest Wits together with Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates qualify for the tournament.
The Clever Boys will start their new season with a clash against Bloemfontein Celtic on August 1 at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg.
Wits University will play host to the country’s top junior soccer players when the under-17 Engen Knockout Regional Challenge comes to campus from July 18-20.
The tournament sees the best of Gauteng’s youth teams taking part in the sixteen team showpiece.
The winner of the event will face the other regional winners around the country to lift the champions-of-champions trophy in Soweto in October.
Gauteng is arguably the most competitive leg of the tournament hosting teams like Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Bidvest Wits and last years’ winners Mamelodi Sundowns.
Engen sponsorship manager Brad Bergh emphasised the tournament is a foundation for developing future Bafana Bafana stars who will follow in the footsteps of the likes of Thulani Serero, Katlego Pule and Asive Langwe all of whom have played in the tournament.
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.
Sibusiso Vilakazi could finish this weekend with a cupboard-full of silverware and a cheque for R7-million for his team.
The captain of Bidvest Wits will lead his team in the Nedbank Cup final against Orlando Pirates on Saturday, and on Sunday, could walk away with any of 3 awards at the annual Premier Soccer League (PSL) awards.
The 24-year-old Soweto-born midfielder debuted for Wits in the 2009/2010 season after being groomed by the Bidvest Wits academy.
He has since notched up over 100 first-team appearances and been rewarded with the club’s captaincy and two national team caps for South Africa.
Vilakazi’s leadership saw his team finish third in the PSL this year and he has been nominated for the player of the season, the ABSA premiership players’ player of the season and the Nedbank Cup player of the tournament at the end of season awards.
Vilakazi’s performance has attracted some interest from Brondby in Denmark and the Clever Boys captain may be jetting overseas by the beginning of next season.
According to Vilakazi, he spent a week in Denmark on trial and a transfer there looks likely. Vilakazi has spent the last 5 years of his professional career with the Clever Boys and has no regrets.
“So far it has been great. I have worked through step by step, baby steps as well. I hope I can grow better and better.”
With an exciting weekend ahead for the Clever Boys captain, he said, “I’m hoping it will start with the cup final and we will see what happens with the awards but I’m hoping we lift the trophy.”
The final showdown
The Nedbank Cup final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, on Saturday afternoon, will be a tightly contested match if the draw in their last meeting is anything to go by. Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt said, “Winning the cup will define if the season is good or bad.”
Vilakazi will no doubt play a vital role in the clash on Saturday afternoon and said, “It comes down to that important day, what happened in the past doesn’t matter, we focus on what’s happening now.”
Vilakazi said that his team deserves at least one trophy for the season. He would be lifting the trophy as captain if they win and he added,” I believe in my team and each and every individual.”
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.”
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.
The Clever Boys battled hard against Orlando Pirates in their Premier Soccer league game on Wednesday night, finishing the game in a 0-0 draw at the Bidvest Stadium.
Bidvest Wits continued their unbeaten run in the league with a third consecutive goalless draw, which sees them without a goal in over 270 minutes of playing time.
The game consisted of both teams missing key goal-scoring opportunities and was marred by consistent foul play from both sides.
Play was interrupted at one point with what looked like a serious injury to Burundian international Papy Faty. Faty was taken to hospital with suspected torn ligaments and a dislocated knee. He looks set to miss his team’s Nedbank Cup semi-final clash against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday
Sibusiso Vilakazi,the Clever Boys captain, sat on the bench for the duration of the game as Wits seemed to have rested key players for the clash on Saturday.
Kaizer Chiefs also shared the spoils with Free State Stars on Wednesday evening in a 1-1 draw in Polokwane.