Pirates triumphs over Wits in penalty shootout 

Buccaneers reserve team beat Wits 4-2 on penalties after 90 minutes stalemate  

First-year Wits University students watched a nail-biting football match when Pirates and Wits clashed at the annual Spirit Game which took place during orientation week.  

The Wits Rugby Stadium was packed to capacity on Friday, February 9, 2024, as students eagerly awaited the traditional ‘Witsies for Life’ ceremony led by Dean of Student Affairs, Jerome September.  

Pirates’ striker Mehluleli Maphumulo scored the first goal of the match in just under a minute, but before this could even register, Wits FC striker, Prince Manku responded with a goal of his own in the second minute of the game. These two goals set the bar for a remaining 89 minutes of fierce competition.  

Despite the effort to keep the goal-scoring momentum, the first half ended in a stalemate of 1-1, which Wits assistant coach, Andile Zulu viewed as a positive outcome as the team has only trained twice this year and is predominantly filled with first-year players. 

Wits Kudus took control in the second half, immediately scoring their second goal, a solo effort by Bornwise Ntshani. Pirates’ striker Amogelang Matebesi scored an equalizer five minutes after Ntshani’s goal, taking the teams straight to penalties.

Pirates Coach, Joseph Makhanya said: “This [turnout] is lovely, we love playing in such a capacity and I expected this match to be difficult because Wits produces high quality players.” 

Wits brought on their reserve goalkeeper, Skylar Martin, before the penalty shootouts to replace the first-team goalkeeper, Sihlubane Samkele, who suffered a hamstring injury. Their head coach, Abram Mongoya expressed concern and dissatisfaction, pointing out the player’s three injuries in the 2023/24 season. 

Wits players comforted Martins after he struggled to save all penalties against the Buccaneers, leading to their 4-2 victory. Pirates effectively scored four penalties, missing one as it struck the crossbar. 

“I’m so glad I came, I enjoyed every moment of this match although I’m not a big soccer fan,” said first year Bachelor of Arts student, Zandile Mafu. 

Wits FC reserve goalkeeper, Skylar Martin missing a penalty shoot by a Pirates football player. Photo: Sfundo Parakozov

This game was part of Wits’ preparations for their upcoming match on February 14 in the ABC Motsepe League. Currently occupying the seventh spot in the league, Wits is set to face Pretoria Ally’s Tigers who are seventeenth and in danger of relegation. 

In their previous encounter on October 28, 2023, Wits secured a narrow 2-1 victory against the Tigers. Coach Zulu told Wits Vuvuzela that the team is preparing to secure a convincing win against the Tigers this time around.  

Bidvest Wits thumped by Wits Football Club

New Witsies introduced to the university’s sporting culture with the Pride All Star Game.

First-year Witsies were treated to some exceptional football as Wits Football Club thrashed a weakened Bidvest Wits side by four goals to nil at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday, January 30, in the Wits Pride All Star Game.

The Educated Footballers were in full strength in front of an eager Wits crowd, predominantly of first years, which was treated to performances from musicians, Busiswa and ZuluMkhatini, under the scorching midday sun.

On the opposite side was a weakened Clever Boys side, comprised of players from MultiChoice Diski Challenge side, who never quite settled into the friendly encounter.

Wits Football took an early lead with a Mahle Mtabane goal before captain Tshireletso Motsogi doubled the score with a headed goal from a well-delivered corner just before the break.

The second half started in similar fashion with Kurt Pienaar punishing a sloppy Bidvest defence after latching onto a through-ball and rounding the keeper before slotting the ball away to make it three.

The victory was sealed when Clinton Mphahlele beat two defenders and finessed the ball into the corner to the enjoyment of first-year Witsies who were evidently supporting the university side.

Motsogi was disappointed to not be playing in this year’s Varsity Football tournament after losing to the Tshwane University of Technology in last years’ final and failing to qualify in the University Sports South Africa (USSA) tournament last year but believed this season would allow the team to rebuild.

“Varsity football is one of the biggest tournaments for us so missing out on it takes a huge toll on us. But we have to keep pushing and hope that we win USSA the make it through.

Second-year BAccSci student, Kyran Jugdharee, shared his thoughts on the match from the grandstand, saying, “The game is going well. The halftime performances really got me hyped up. I’m just really enjoying watching the sport I love. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Daniel Badenhorst, a first-year BEng student, who was watching both teams live for the first time said that the encounter was a great way to show the first years about football at the university.

“The game was great. I liked the atmosphere. I enjoyed the dancing and the music. It was very engaging. It was a great activity for first years to get into the Wits culture as well as meet new people. It was a great experience.”

FEATURED IMAGE: Captain Tshireletso Motsogi dominates the centre of the park as the Educated Footballers show the Clever Boys who is the real boss of Wits.    Photo: Tshego Mokgabudi


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Wits Vuvuzela, A season of firsts sees Wits make Varsity Football final, September 2018

SOCCER: Wits men lose to neighbours UJ

The Wits Football Club Men’s side suffered a blow after losing 1-0 to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Tuesday evening.

The winning goal was struck by Lindani Mazibuko after a set piece that had been awarded to UJ due to an unfair tackle on one of their players in the first 35 minutes of the game.

The first match of the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Gauteng Football League saw UJ dominating in the first half of the game. UJ head coach Bradley Carnell explained it was a “calculated approach from the team” to ensure that they play well enough to win the first game of the season.

The combination of Treasure Dlamini, Tshepo Tolo, Sadro Claro and Tebogo Mandy made for entertaining viewing as they attacked the Wits defense coming from the left side of the park in the first half of the match.

With the beginning of the second half, the game seemed to even out with both teams attacking equally.

Wits pushed forward with a good offense but missed a few goal chances.

“They will improve as in the last 15 mins the boys were starting to cramp and stuff so not really lack of fitness but really lack real competitive match fitness.”

The Wits combination of Ayanda Makua and Gift Baloyi kept the pressure on the opposition’s defense, but UJ rose to the occasion by ensuring that Wits could not break them down completely.

In a counter attack at 50 minutes, Dlamini missed two perfect scoring opportunities in order to extend their lead by hitting the crossbar and side bar in less than a minute.

The last 20 minutes of the game saw Wits attacking UJ steadily but despite the team’s efforts and the fans’ singing, the match ended 1-0.

Wits coach Karabo Mogudi acknowledged that UJ had been playing in other competitive tournaments and that gave them an advantage in Tuesday’s game.

Mogudi added that Wits failed to achieve a competitive edge due to a lack of “real competitive match fitness”.

The Wits women’s and men’s teams are set to play against the Tshwane University of Technology on the 17th of March 2015 at Bidvest Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:30pm and 8:30pm.

 

SOCCER: Freshers meet and greet Bidvest Wits players

MY TURN: First years patiently waiting for their turn to get their posters signed by

MY TURN: First years patiently wait for their turn to get their posters signed by Bidvest Wits player Christopher Katongo.                                       Photo: Nqobile Dludla

First years talked non-stop about finally meeting their favourite Bidvest Wits players on Sunday at the orientation week welcome day friendly match between the Clever Boys and the Wits Football Club.

First-year Sonwabile Nzeke from Klerksdorp couldn’t believe that he finally got to meet the Bidvest Wits team in person.

“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm. I even stole a few signed posters [of the squad]”

“The level of facilities were impressive because we come from rural towns where there is hardly anything. From the sport facility, to how the players played,” said Nzeke.

His newly-found friend, Lesiba Phahladira, was also in awe as it was his first time ever at a stadium.

“The match was quite entertaining because this was my first time at the stadium for a live match. My favourite Bidvest Wits player is Rowen Fernandez. When he signed [my hand] I felt like calling my mom and say ‘Fernandez touched my hand’. It was so great,” said Phahladira.

The emotional Ramathaba Masipa Bidvest Wits said he “almost cried” when he saw Moeneeb Josephs who is widely known as ‘Slim Kat’.

“Yoh I’m not even going to wash my body today because my favourite Bidvest Wits players signed my arm”

“From a very young age I’ve always been a supporter. It was great seeing them, I even got an autograph and took pictures with Katongo, Slim Kat. Yoh, I almost cried I was emotional. I’ve always wanted to meet Slim Kat in person and he was so friendly. On the pitch he is normally crazy so I expected him to be mean,” said Masipa.

Conflicted in which team to support, the stadium shock nonetheless in excitement when Yusuf Jappie’s only winning goal sent Bidvest Wits into a lead just before half time.

“It was a good game. The university played very well to be honest. Good on the ball, good technically. We have a lot of young players coming through so this is a perfect opportunity to look at them and see at what they can do and these are the games that give us that indication. We’ll continue to groom but individually they are talented and that’s important for us,” said assistant coach Andre Arendse.

 

SOCCER: Wits FC disappoints log leaders VUT

12_USSA

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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Wits Vuvuzela. SOCCER: New Talent benefits Men’s FC. March, 2014