Wits FC ready for USSA Gauteng Football League

SETTING THE BAR HIGH: In the top four, Wits FC head coach, Karabo Mogudi is certain that his team will qualify for the USSA Gauetng Football League semi-finals.       Photo: Nqobile Dludla

SETTING THE BAR HIGH: In the top four, Wits FC head coach, Karabo Mogudi is certain that his team will qualify for the USSA Gauteng Football League semi-finals. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Wits FC coach Karabo Mogudi says he is confident enough that his team will remain in the top four of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng qualifiers as the season resumed on Tuesday.

The team has three more matches left until the semi-finals, which will see the top four teams battling it out to qualify for the USSA National Championships taking place in December.

“We have a fairly good squad this year. Performance is a little bit better [than the previous year].   We’ve tried and done our best and we think we’ll get there, but the job is not done yet. Our objective is to stay in the top four, qualify for the USSA National Champs and qualify for Varsity football,” said Mogudi.

For Wits FC to qualify for the USSA National Championships they need a minimum of three wins that will put the team through to the semi-finals, whether they draw or lose one game out of the remaining four. Of the four teams battling it out in the semi-finals, only three will be chosen to represent Gauteng at nationals.

“I’m gunning for three wins and one draw. I’m not looking for a loss. We must decide our own destiny. We need to decide and say ‘we are going to be in the top four and we are going to the national champs’,” said Mogudi.

“If we get 17 [points] that means we are definitely in the top four because that means we would have beaten UP (University of Pretoria) and UJ (University of Johannesburg) who are close to us … We are confident that we can do the job in the last two matches,” said Mogudi.

“I’m gunning for three wins and one draw. I’m not looking for a loss”
Last year the team juggled both Varsity Football and the Gauteng League which resulted in constant injuries and lethargy. According to Mogudi, he couldn’t rotate players due to injuries and prolonged recovery because there were “not enough [players] to rotate with”.

Mogudi believes sport administration support, quality players, medical assistance and high performance assistance will have a positive impact on the team’s objectives and the quality of the team that he is grooming.

“We need res, food, medical assistance, bursaries et cetera. Unfortunately we don’t get that much. The budget is limited. So for those living off campus it is a challenge for them to come to practice on weekends.”

According to Mogudi, “with some of the matches the team did not have a physio due to, among other things, the lack of funds. So dealing with a part-time physio means that when they are working on the same day as the match you end up going without them.”

Despite the challenges, Mogudi hopes to encourage the spirit of commitment among his players.

At number four, Wits FC has 11 points along with UP sitting at number three. In second place, Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Pretoria also has 11 points and sitting comfortably at number one, the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Vanderbijlpark has 16 points.

For the upcoming matches, Wits FC will face UP, Midrand Graduate Institute and Medunsa.

 

 

SOCCER: Wits FC disappoints log leaders VUT

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DOWN TO EARTH: Log leaders VUT’s hammering machine was deflected by Wits FC Men’s side in a well-sustained 0-0 draw, only adding a point to both sides. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Wits FC Men’s side brought  log leaders Vaal University of Technology (VUT) down to earth with a 0-0 draw at Bidvest Wits Stadium on Tuesday.

The draw was VUT’s first disappointment this season after having won all six of their games so far in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng football league, making them the log leaders with 16 points.

With only eight points and in fourth position, Wits came prepared on Tuesday to send a message of intent. Wits FC is looking for a top four qualifying position for the USSA National Championships. Wits coach Karabo Mogudi told Wits Vuvuzela that his team came prepared to face VUT.

“We managed to contain VUT, considering that they play high level football. We did assess them. We watched their game last week at UJ and assessed their strengths and weakness. VUT actually came back to us now and said ‘Hey, you prepared well’,” said Mogudi.

In addition to team assessments, Wits has added two new centre backs in hopes of growing and strengthening the team as they prepare to take on more tougher opponents when the season resumes in August.

Though the match was without any goals, Mogudi said the Wits team was to be commended for holding their log leading opponents to a scoreless draw.

“It’s a positive that we did not concede against a team that really attacks people. They came out guns blazing and we managed to contain them and that’s a positive from us. We had some clear goal scoring opportunities but if it wasn’t for the brilliance of their goal keeper, we’d be smiling now with three points in the bag,” said Mogudi.

While the draw was a positive outcome for Wits, the team will have to maintain the same stamina when the season resumes in August when they take on UJ and TUT Pretoria, two teams who are tough opponents to look out for.

Game on lock down

Wits threatened to score as early as the sixth minute when Innocent Magasela’s free-kick,  assisted by Wonderboy Frank’s header, was saved by VUT’s goalkeeper. Four minutes later, Wits made another attempt, this time a corner kick from Zachary Cohen whose shot was deflected by the VUT goalkeeper. Magasela came back on the  rebound, with a kick that went over the goal post, sending chills down the fan’s spines.

In the second half, with the score at 0-0, Wits wasted no time to attack when Neo Makua impressed with a brilliant dribble, breaking VUT’s back line, and fed the ball to Tshepo Motsukunyane whose right foot shot was unfortunately saved by the goalkeeper.

VUT’s hammering machine struggled to threaten Wits as the game neared its dying seconds leaving the final whistle to blow with the score comfortably sitting at 0-0.

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SOCCER: New talent benefit Wits Men’s FC

Wits Men Football Club ended the match with an unexpected goal from Tshepo "JR" Motsukunyane resulting in a 3-0 victory over Monash.Photo: Nqobile Dludla

WINNERS: Wits Men Football Club ended the match with an unexpected goal from Tshepo “JR” Motsukunyane resulting in a 3-0 victory over Monash. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

The Wits Men’s football team matched their female counterparts by coming away with a solid win against university rivals Monash at Marks Park on Monday night.

Wits Men’s FC started off their University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng Football League season with a strong performance finishing their match 3-0 against the team from Monash.

The win come after a restructuring of the team through the incorporation of several former Wits Junior players.

Wits coach, Karabo Mogudi, picked six players who have been playing development football for quite some time, bringing some much needed diversity to the team.

“A lot of good talent is coming through. They are well developed and are now starting to get the competitive edge against tougher opponents and the aim is to grow them in confidence,” said Mogudi.

With a few mistakes here and there, Mogudi still worries about the key aspects of the game that need more improvement. 

“Although we did well, we need to tighten our defence. We kept the position well, we made forward runs and they played according to instructions. We’re going to work hard in defending set pieces and attacking set pieces. They are a crucial aspect of the game,” he said

What seemed like a failed corner-kick saw Tebogo Digoamaje release a controlled pass to  Kaizer Maphanga, who gave Wits a 1-0 lead in the first half.

Wits too strong for Monash

Hungry for a rebound, Maphanga missed a well distributed corner kick 15 minutes into the 2nd half, only having the ball go over the goal post.

Not wasting time, few minutes after Mutsukunyane’ substitution, he netted a solid 2-0 in the second half beating his attacker.

Following Wits’ four attempted goals, Monash pushed further ahead after half an hour with a more controlled counter-attack, forcing Wits to rush their passes instead of sticking to their more composed combinations.

The second half ended with an unexpected 3-0 score, with a final goal from Tshepo Mutsukunyane only two minutes before the whistle was heard.

Sphiwe Mkhonza, Monash coach said although his team started off in a bad note “The guys did well; it’s a good foundation for us. This year when we started I told them that our objective is to be in the top 3,” he said.

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SOCCER: Monash feels the wrath of Wits Ladies FC

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USSA Gauteng Football League: Wits Ladies FC played their first league match on Tuesday after their first match with VUT scheduled for March 11 was postponed due to the waterlogged pitch. Photo: Nqobile Dludla

Wits Ladies Football Club kept their stern hopes of USSA National Champs qualification flickering with an easy 16-0 victory at Markspark in the USSA Gauteng Football League on Tuesday.

The University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng Football League 2014 season kicked off last Tuesday.

Goals from Precious Zulu, Puleng Mofokeng and Linah Maphanga in the first half gave Wits Ladies FC a steady advantage over Monash University Ladies team which staggered goalless until half time.

Setting a precedent, Zulu’s eighth minute goal in the slow paced match saw Wits dominating the first half. Within a couple of minutes after the first goal, Monash was unable to keep up and use more of their forward passes. Zulu dominated the first half with 5 goals.

Monash eventually managed to earn themselves a second free kick, only to have it fall short on the feet of the Wits defence.

With a 7-goal lead going into the second half, Wits took less risks, running at the pace of their opponents. But with Monash lacking match fitness, Zulu casually netted an easy 8th goal.

Sphiwe Mkhonza, Monash’s coach responding to Wits’ dominance said “We won’t make excuses for not performing well even though they [team] only had a week of practice and preparation because Monash re-opened in mid-March,”.

Monash came back in the 2nd half more determined as they boosted their attack and staggering defence. Witsie Puleng “Mshini” Mofokeng broke the now aggressive defence force from Monash with a sharp 9th goal, five minutes into the 2nd half.

Wits added more 7 goals in the 2nd half which saw them walking away with a decisive 16-0 victory.

“Well the victory was what we had expected but little things still need to be fixed, such as positional discipline and not rushing things,” said Jabulile Baloyi, Wits coach.