Bidvest Wits come away with their second consecutive third place in the Absa Premiership. Although Wits let their guard down in the last game of the season, they came away with a win at home.
The Clever Boys slipped one goal past the Platinum Stars earlier today to finish third, one above Orlando Pirates, on the Absa Premiership table.
HUMBLE WITS:Bidvest Wits squad posing for a photo with fans on the field after the game. Photo: Anlerie de Wet
After taking to the field at the Bidvest stadium, the teams joined the crowd in a moment of silence for the victims of xenophobia.
The first half was very slow paced with Bidvest Wits holding the majority of the ball possession. The home team received many opportunities at goal but struggled to push it through.
After a number of attempts at goal, Vincent Pule, in the number twelve jersey, sliced the ball past five Platinum Stars players to put Wits on the score board in the 30th minute.
In the last twenty minutes of the game play slowed as both teams seemed to have lost focus.
The ref gave an extra four minutes for injury time in which Hunt instructed his team to keep the ball and let the time run out. As time ran out Wits kicked the ball out of play and the final whistle blew.
“I’m happy we managed to get a point, but we just couldn’t convert chances,” said Bidvest Wits captain, Buhle Makwanazi.
“Platinum Stars have good individual players and are not an easy team to face … although we played well, we need to work on conversions,” said Makhwanazi.
Wits’ goal for the 2014/2015 premiership was to surpass last year’s third place season finish, according to coach Gavin Hunt. “We wanted to do better this year, but third is still fantastic,” Hunt said.
Compared to last season’s statistics, Bidvest Wits are down by three points and had one less win. Kaizer Chiefs won the premiership with Mamelodi Sundowns finishing in second.
SUPER SUBS: Erwin Issacs talks tactics with the Bidvest Wits assistant coach before him and Asive Langwe went on to change the complexion of the game.
A 1-0 VICTORY over Platinum Stars on Wednesday night have left the Clever Boys in good position going into the title finale.
The win for Bidvest Wits have put them in touch with league leaders Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs with six games remaining for the Clever Boys.
Anything can happen in an eagerly anticipated finish to the Premier Soccer League season, which sees Wits eight points off the leaders, Sundowns, with two games in hand.
The title hopes this season are shouldered upon the experienced players for Bidvest Wit. Substitute player Erwin Issacs said the Clever Boys had a chance because they were underestimated by bigger teams.
[pullquote]”…We are all about the fight, team spirit and the three points.”[/pullquote]
“People are looking at the top teams like Sundowns and Chiefs, they don’t worry about us. We will come from behind, we need to win our two games in hand and we know we only two points behind. We are all about the fight, team spirit and the three points,” Issacs said.
Bidvest Wits vs Platinum Stars
The first half of Wednesday’s match was a tactician’s dream, with both teams held to a goalless stalemate.
The second half seemed to be heading the same way, until Bivest Wits coach Gavin Hunt made a match-changing substitute in a last ditch effort to win the game.
The substitute, left-wing Asive Langwe, scored 82 minutes into the match in what would be the decisive blow as the Clever Boys held out for the win.
Bidvest Wits next fixture is against Moroko Swallows on April 16. The Clever Boys will have the home ground advantage and will be looking for another win.
BIDVEST Wits’ hopes for a top four spot were dealt a blow when they lost 2-1 to Platinum Stars on Wednesday in an ABSA Premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium.
The opening minutes of the match were characterised by strong defending as both teams fought to keep a clean sheet.
Bakwena wasted plenty of scoring opportunities with the team from Rustenburg shooting largely off-target and Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Emille Baron in fine form.
The Clever Boys, however, were first on the score sheet in the first half courtesy of striker Ryan Chapman, who out-foxed the Platinum Stars’ defence, scoring his sixth and Wits’ 25th goal of the season.
The home team was emboldened by the goal and went in search for a second, with Bryce Moon coming close with a right-footed attempt, as Bidvest continued to rattle Platinum Stars’ defence. Wits ended the first half the stronger team, finding spaces in the Stars back-line with ease.
The match was not shy of fouls with referee Daniel Bennet forced into awarding a number of penalties.
Close to half time, Wits was awarded a penalty after Thomas Gumede’s mis-timed tackle on Bidvest captain Sibusiso Vilakazi. To the home crowd’s dismay, Vilakazi’s spot-kick was saved by Stars goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.
The Clever Boys were made to pay for the miss when Platinum Stars midfielder Mogakolodi Ngele netted the equaliser on the stroke of half time.
Platinum Stars made the momentum count when Ngele scored his second of the night, this time from the penalty spot after a hand-ball by Bidvest.
Bidvest Wits’ Asive Langwe missed numerous opportunities to bring the team’s score higher and he was eventually substituted in the 75th minute.
The rest of the half was marred by fouls and scrappy play by both teams and ended in victory for the visitors from Rustenburg.
Three additional minutes were added to the 90-minute match, but proved useless for the Clever Boys and sealing a victory for the Bakwena.
Platinum Stars is now positioned second in the Premier Soccer League standings, while Bidvest Wits is in sixth place. Wits is one point off a top four spot with five more rounds left to play in the league.