Wits writing history in the PSL

2017-05-18 15:05
Phakamani Mahlambi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South African football lovers witnessed a veritable colossal achievement by a team known to be quite nifty, but without enough verve for a league title. 

Wits’ journey to this year's Absa Premiership title is a story that took over 96 years - and low and behold, it reached a happy ending.

On Wednesday, the Clever Boys overcame Polokwane City 2-0 to the jaw of Mamelodi Sundowns, who had to fight back during the dying minutes of the game to get a draw against Maritzburg United.

Wits now have an unassailable four point lead at the top of the table with only one match remaining in the season.

They have won 18 of their 29 matches played, drawing six and losing five in the process - two of those losses inflicted by SuperSport United. They won both home and away games against Orlando Pirates and have beaten all the three big clubs this season. 

At least five teams were in the running for the title until recently when one by one they started falling by the wayside - Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United and then Cape Town City.

But Sundowns alone may have given Wits coach Gavin Hunt a full blown migraine having been in the similar race with the Brazilians last season when plans to win the league blew up in his face. 

Wits faltered when it mattered the most, in the last few games.

Hunt had also spoken about injuries that robbed him of his key players in some of the crucial fixtures this season. 

“We haven’t had a team as we’ve been decimated by injuries every week, serious injuries,” he said in his post-match interview on Wednesday night.

“We’ve done well home and away. It’s a culmination of hard work. It wasn’t easy... Yoh! Can’t really talk much,” said Hunt. 

Hunt is now only the third coach to win the league four times - joining the elite pair of Gordon Igesund and Ted Dumitru.

Hunt won three consecutive league titles with SuperSport United from 2008 to 2010.

Wits on the other hand have only come as close as second.

“When I first came here, I looked at this squad and I said that I didn’t think the team was good enough. And I’ve been here for four years now,” said Hunt.

“It’s taken a long time to try and overhaul the team, change everything - change the mentality, how we want to do it, how we want to play. It takes time, and for a club like Bidvest Wits to win the league is unbelievable,” he said.

The team had already won all three of the current domestic cup competitions. 

But this season is notably one that hovers above any achievement of the club.

They started off the season by winning the MTN8, beating in the process Orlando Pirates, Cape Town City and Sundowns - whom they thrashed 3-0 in the final in a wet Mbombela Stadium late last year. 

Hunt said CAF Champions League is now a priority for his team.

Read more on:    bidvest wits  |  psl  |  soccer

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Saturday, 21 October 2017
Kaizer Chiefs v Orlando Pirates, FNB Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Polokwane City, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:30
Ajax Cape Town v Bloemfontein Celtic, Athlone Stadium 20:15
Free State Stars v Platinum Stars, Goble Park 20:15
Maritzburg United v SuperSport United, Harry Gwala Stadium 20:15
Mamelodi Sundowns v AmaZulu FC, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Baroka FC v Wits, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Cape Town City FC, Sisa Dukashe Stadium 15:30
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Bloemfontein Celtic v Maritzburg United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Golden Arrows, Mbombela Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Kaizer Chiefs, Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
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The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

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