The Braamfontein side is languishing in 10th position after it had topped the log at the beginning of the season.
Wits University Football Club and Pele Pele Football Club were forced to settle for a goalless draw on Saturday, April 22, hindering both teams from moving up in the Gauteng ABC Motsepe League.
In a thrilling game, Witsies started the first half strongly as they were dominating the game. On the other hand, Randburg stars Pele Pele were struggling with possession. Out of eight chances Wits created, three were on target, threatening the Pele Pele goalkeeper, Tsebo Tsotetsi. One hit the goal post, denying Wits a goal. At the other end, Pele Pele managed to create five chances with only two on target.
Towards the end of the first half Pele Pele were awarded a penalty due to a handball. Fortunately for Witsies, the ball deflected off the crossbar. Halftime statistics showed two yellow cards for Pele Pele, against Siyabonga Buda for rough tackling and Tshepo Kakora for wasting time.
In the second half, tables turned as Pele Pele proved to be the hungrier of the two teams, with increased possession and confident display. Pele Pele managed to create an additional five chances with a lot of scrappy passes in between.
Witsies did not manage a single chance at goal up until the 80th minute when a ball coming in from out wide landed in the box for winger O’Neil Hendriks to break the tie. A heroic block on the line from Pele Pele defender Nhlakanipho Myeza was a decisive moment in the match.
Three minutes of extra time were added but neither team managed to score, and when the final whistle blew, the score was still 0-0. Wits football coach Alzavian van Rheede told Wits Vuvuzela that he was not bothered about what the result meant for the team’s position in the league. “It was more the performance that we were looking for, the tactical agreements that we were working on in training because we tried something new today and we’re happy with what we got out of the game.”
With 33 matches played so far, Wits are currently 10th on the log. This is a far cry from November 2022 when, after eight matches, Wits topped the log. They went on to lose 12 matches, and now, with 47 points, are left with two games to try and make it into the top eight.
Seemingly the Braamfontein side has accepted that this season is a loss as winger Hendriks told Wits Vuvuzela that, “We are not fighting for anything now, we just want to enjoy the games that are left.”
Mncedisi Sibiya, football coach of Pele Pele, said that the result was disappointing as the third-placed team, with 66 points, was chasing the second spot. “We hope that the [Soweto Super United FC] throws or loses the game, but we still have two games to play. We will keep on pushing. We will get the two points [necessary to move up].”
Wits will next play away to Tembisa-based M Tigers Football Club on Thursday, April 27. The venue is yet to be confirmed.
FEATURED IMAGE: Wits player, Lehlohonolo Mollo, wins the ball, leaving Pele Pele’s Neo Mumble in the dust. Photo: Aphelele Mbokotho