Wits reach Telkom KO semis
Sibusiso Vilakazi (Backpage)
Benoni - Bidvest Wits joined Santos, Orlando Pirates and Golden Arrows in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout thanks to a 1-0 win over Jomo Cosmos at the Sinaba Stadium on Sunday.
In what was a competitive but cagey game played in fierce heat, the Clever Boys were the more creative side and thus deserved their victory, secured by a first half goal from midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi.
Wits dominated the first half and took the lead after 26 minutes, shortly after a water break. Right-back Sipho Mngomezulu played a long ball into the Cosmos penalty area and the home side’s defence somehow allowed an unmarked Sibusiso Vilakazi to bring the ball under control before beating Avril Phali from close range.
And Vilakazi almost set up a second goal for the Clever Boys a short while later, winning a header at the back post to play a dangerous ball across the face of goal for his namesake Sifiso Vilakazi to get onto, but this time Ezenkosi’s defence did just enough.
Cosmos had a great chance to make it 1-1 ten minutes before half-time: A terrific through ball from Bamuza Sono put Siyabonga Nontshinga one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but he tried to round Energy Murambadoro, rather than simply lobbing the Wits gloveman, and missed out on the opportunity.
Ezenkosi asked a lot more questions of Wits’ defence in the second half, but the visitors remained dangerous on attack, best demonstrated by Avril Phali having to make a good save to keep out a Ryan Chapman effort on 68 minutes.
Phali made another excellent save 13 minutes later, diving bravely at the feet of Sibusiso Vilakazi after Wits sprung the home side’s offside trap. The missed opportunity didn’t cost the Clever Boys anything, as they held out for the 1-0 win and join Santos, Pirates and Golden in Monday’s semi-final draw. Scores:
Jomo Cosmos 0
Bidvest Wits (1) 1 (Sib. Vilakazi 26’)
Cosmos: Phali; Kobola, Berthe, Tshilo (Rusike 79’), Maseko, B. Sono, Samb, Loke, Nhlapo, Tukane, Nontshinga (Dondo 58’)
Wits: Murambadoro; Mngomezulu, Gumede, Mabizela (Spencer 8’), Adolph, Sib. Vilakazi, Sibande, Mngomeni (Maselesa 70’), Myeni, Chapman, Sif. Vilakazi (Langwe 87’)