Johannesburg - Wits coach Clive Barker says his side will rue the missed opportunity they had to beat league high-flyers Platinum Stars.
Leading 1-0, Clever Boys captain Sibusiso Vilakazi missed a penalty in the 36th minute to double the advantage for his side, and a disciplined Stars team came back to win the Absa Premiership match 2-1 at Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday evening.
"It was a good first half for us," said Barker after the game.
"We looked as if we were going to go away and win it. If we had (just) converted a golden opportunity with a penalty."
Barker felt his team always needed a second goal against a Stars team placed second on the log and still challenging for the league title.
"I said to the players, 'you would have to score two goals to win tonight'.
"I thought they would come back at us, and they did. In the second half they really played well tonight and we went off the boil a bit."
The equaliser for Stars came a minute before the break and would have come as a momentum killer for the Students.
"We messed it all up, I looked at the clock and it was already on 44 minutes.
"We had to go through that period where they would come at us a little bit. What we did was we backed off a little bit in the middle of the park, you could actually see it," said Barker.
The first goal for Stars came from what can only be described as a half chance, but a top finish by Mogakolodi Ngele on the edge of the area made it 1-1.
"They pressed a little bit further forward and then of course we invited them to have a shot which they did and it went in close to the upright," said Barker.
"When you play football, if you don't take your chances you won't get breathing space and when we had them on the ropes we didn't put them away.
"They bounced back and showed a bit of quality and they certainly showed a bit of fight."
Barker, though, was quick to credit Cavin Johnson's men with the way they played.
"Credit to Stars, they played the game very simple, they got a good man up front [Henrico Botes] that hits it nine times out ten.
"And they've got a player on the right-hand side (Thuso Phala) who has entertained at Bafana level."