The Clever Boys show Orlando Pirates the door

Bidvest Wits beat Orlando Pirates 2-0 in Tuesday night’s mid-week encounter of the Premier Soccer League.

by Masego Panyane and Sinikiwe Mqadi

The Bidvest Wits side that slayed the Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

CLEVER BOYS: The Bidvest Wits side that silenced the mighty Soweto giants Orlando Pirates on Tuesday evening. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

 

The battle for third place in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) continued after Bidvest Wits walked away with a convincing victory against Orlando Pirates at home last night.

The Clever Boys were simply on fire, scoring both goals in the opening 16 minutes of the game courtesy of Calvin Kadi.

The goals were Kadi’s first  in the season: “I am really happy that I managed to get two goals after a very long time without playing – it was a tough game,” he said.

In the second half The Buccaneers pushed forward but were kept at bay by Wits’ goalkeeper, Moneeb Josephs and the Wits defence.

Lennox Bacela tried to save his team by slotting in a goal in the 55th minute, but it was ruled an offside.

” Mistakes do happen and…You know I felt a bit sorry for the boy”.

The Clever Boys finished their match with 10 men, after Phumlani Ntshangase was shown the red card in the 84th minute after an unfair tackle on Lennox Bacela.

Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler acknowledged that a mistake made early on in the game by full back Patrick Phungwayo cost them the first goal. He said, “Mistakes do happen and … You know I felt a bit sorry for the boy”.

On the team’s performance in the match and how that affects their league race chances, Tinkler said: “The hype around the game and the importance of the game got to the players … so I think that’s why they possibly dropped their heads”.

This victory leaves Wits in fourth position on the league table. Wits and Pirates are now level on points, but The Clever Boys have one more game in hand.

The team is fighting to finish second on the PSL log but coach Gavin Hunt says there are challenges, “We are so thin of players, we are struggling with numbers … lots of injuries,” he said.

The Clever Boys will meet Chippa United on the 18th of April at Bidvest Stadium.

Bloem Celtics continue on winning streak, beating the Clever Boys

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bloemfontein Celtic has continued their winning streak by beating Bidvest Wits 1-0 on Friday night.

The winning goal was struck by Lerato Lamola in the 78th minute. His team mate, Musa Nyatama, was tackled unfairly by Siyabonga Nhlapo of Bidvest Wits. Nhlapo was given his second yellow card of the match, and was sent off. Nhlapo conceded a penalty which allowed the visitors to lead 1-0.

The Free State based team has been on a winning streak since the start of the Premier Soccer League in February this year

The game was hotly contested, with Bloemfontein Celtic’s coach, Clinton Larsen admitting that they had expected to work hard for their win. He said they watched how Wits dominated the game against Sundowns and he warned his players that, “Wits settle very quickly.”

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe  Mqadi

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Larsen added that his side was very disciplined and that Wits didn’t manage to break them down in the middle. He was delighted with the three points and said, “The boys worked hard for it.”

The game had a slow start with the players being unable to keep their balance on the wet pitch, due to rain earlier in the day.

As the players began to adjust to the pitch and the chilly Johannesburg air, Wits took their chances with a cross being played through from Shameegh Doutie to Jabulani Shongwe in the first 30 minutes of the game. The shot, like many others that Wits had on target, did not reach the back of the net.

Wits Goalkeeper, Moeneeb Josephs also had his work cut out for him as Bloemfontein Celtic attacked at every chance they got.

In the 43rd minute, Lerato Lamola after being served with a great ball from Man of the Match, Keegan Ritchie, failed to find the back of the net due to a vigilant save by Josephs.

Even though the first was goalless, the atmosphere was electric with the fans of The Clever Boys and those of Siwelele singing to keep their spirits up and themselves warm.

After the drastic turn of events in the 78th minute, the 10-man-side of Wits played solid football and managed to hold Celtics at one goal.

A disappointed Gavin Hunt said he believed that his side should have scored more goals. He said they were second in the league and not at the top, because they have not been scoring goals.

Wits remain at 40 points on the log table, 10 points below log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, whilst Bloemfontein Celtic walked away with three points.

Bidvest Wits hit with final verdict

Bidvest Wits will be fined R50,000, suspended for 12 months, following a verdict delivered by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) disciplinary committee on Wednesday.

The team as well as their former coach, Antonio Lopez Habas, have been fined for contriving the Premier Soccer League’s Media Manual when they failed to attend a post-match press conference after their match against Orlando Pirates on November 24, 2012.

This lead to a hearing with the PSL disciplinary committee for both the club and coach, however, since Habas was out of the country his part of the case has been postponed. In the mean time the Clever Boys have been left with a hefty fine to pay.

A statement from the PSL read: “The parties (Wits and Habas) were charged with contravening the Media Manual after Bidvest Wits’ then-coach Antonio Lopez [Habas] failed to honour the post-match press conference against Orlando Pirates on 24 November 2012.

“The matter against Lopez [Habas] was postponed due to his absence from South Africa.

“Bidvest Wits was found guilty and fined R50 000 – suspended for 12 months. They were ordered to pay the costs of the DC.”