MTN8: Wits edge Celtic on penalties

2014-08-02 09:52

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Wits marched into the semifinals of the MTN8 with a 4-3 win on penalties over Bloemfontein Celtic, after the sides ended goalless after extra time in their MTN8 match.

Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was the hero at Bidvest Stadium last night after he saved two penalty kicks to guide his side to the last four of the knockout competition.

The stalemate was the official season opener for the 2014/2015 season. Throughout two hours of play, the match offered little goalmouth action.

Wits will play the winner of the encounter between Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.

Wits and Celtic entered the match with a tentative mindset with both teams failing to assert themselves in attack throughout.

The effects of the almost three-month break were evident as both sets of players appeared lethargic.

The Clever Boys, spearheaded by midfield linchpin Sibusiso Vilakazi, had the better of the attacking opportunities although there were not many.

The best chance of the first-half came when Vilakazi beat three challengers in the box and fed the ball to Ryan Chapman who punted the ball into the stands. Wits new recruit, Buhle Mkhwanazi, was deployed in the central midfield role behind Vilakazi as a safety net.

Mkhwanazi’s effectiveness came to the fore in the 23rd minute when he repelled a dangerous attack from Celtic captain Joel Mogorosi in the box.

Gabadinho Mhango was the focal point of the attack for Celtics as they showed flashes of brilliance on the left flank.

Mhango and the tricky Lyle Lakay provided the threat on the wings for Celtic, but their efforts were thwarted by Wits’ well-drilled defensive line, devised by coach Gavin Hunt.

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