Frisky Wits raring to go at Downs

2011-02-26 00:00

A WITS University side with fresh confidence and energy will be difficult opponents for a Mamelodi Sundowns outfit struggling for championship-winning form in a Pretoria versus Johannesburg Premier Soccer League clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Attridgeville tonight.

Both teams’ most recent outings came against Free State Stars — Downs lost 2-1 in Mpumalanga, while Wits drew 2-2 in Bethlehem.

Wits, though, have been arguably the form team of the PSL in the last month-and-a-half, as the Students have gone on a veritable scoring spree.

Their draw against Stars brought to an end a run of four victories in which Roger De Sa’s team scored 14 goals, including a 6-0 thrashing of Vasco Da Gama.

Wits’ first-round game against Sundowns ended in a 2-1 win for the Clever Boys in a match in where the speed of the Johannesburg side’s attackers ripped Downs to shreds on the counter-attack.

Sifiso Myeni and Nyiko Tshabangu were sensational then, and now Wits also have Bhongolwethu Jawiya to add to Downs’ potential headaches.

Jawiya has been one of two young strikers, the other being Santos’s Vuyisile Wana, who have made an explosive start to their PSL careers this season.

The Wits youth product Jawiya has scored seven goals, most in the second half of the season.

Captain Tefu Mashamaite is hopeful of a return to action tonight after a clash of heads in the Stars fixture.

“I had seven stitches to my head, but I’m feeling much better now and the good thing is there doesn’t seem to be any concussion,” Mashamaite said.

“I’ll have to undergo further tests, but I’m hopeful of playing on Saturday.”

Mashamaite believes there is reason for optimism ahead of the showdown this weekend.

“Playing against Sundowns is motivation on its own. We go into this game on a five-match unbeaten run.

“Also, we beat them last time, so we have reason to feel confident, although we will respect them for the good team they are and the quality players they have.”

“We won’t concern ourselves with any individual players, but we will need to do our homework to work out how to get the better of Downs,” he added.

Downs are slipping further off the pace at the top of the log, and cannot afford to lose any points.

They are expected to be without on-form striker Nyasha Mushweki, who was injured against Ea Lla Koto, while injured wing Franklin Cale also remains sidelined.

Katlego Mphela is back, but is yet to capture his goal-scoring form of last season and it may be Mabuthi Khenyeza who proves to be the Brazilians’ most potent weapon.

Today: AmaZulu v Vasco Da Gama (Ulundi Stadium, 3.30 pm), Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates (FNB Stadium, 3.30 pm – live on SuperSport 4, M-Net-HD and SABC1), Mamelodi Sundowns v Bidvest Wits (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 8.15 pm – live on SuperSport 4 and SABC1)

Tomorrow: Moroka Swallows v Platinum Stars (Dobsonville Stadium, 3.30 pm), Mpumalanga Black Aces v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Puma Rugby Stadium – live on SuperSport 4), Bloemfontein Celtic v SuperSport United (Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, 3.30 pm – live on SABC1)

 

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