Absa Premiership

Wits squeak past Celtic

2014-08-01 22:57
Toriq Losper (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Bidvest Wits are into the semi-finals of the MTN8 after beating Bloemfontein Celtic 4-3 on penalties in Johannesburg after the game ended goalless after 120 minutes.

Limbikani Mzava missed the decisive penalty for Celtic after a tense shootout, following on from a hard-fought 120 minutes of Cup action.

Joel Mogorosi used his pace in the opening minute to create a chance at goal but Jackson Mabokgwane, standing in for the injured Moeneeb Josephs, took care of the danger.

The home side’s first real opportunity at goal arrived after 17 minutes when Henrico Botes rose high to get his head to a cross but could not get much power behind it.

Five minutes later and Celtic’s Malawian forward Frank Mhango posed some danger for the home side's defence, twisting and turning and getting the ball across goal only for the chance to be wasted.

Just before half-time Toriq Losper played Sibusiso Vilakazi through on goal with a well-weighted pass and the skipper did brilliantly to keep his balance and hold off his marker. Vilakazi then turned his man and crossed for Ryan Chapman but he could not get a proper shot on goal.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt made two changes fairly early in the second half, bringing on Dillon Sheppard and Sthembiso Ngcobo for Jabulani Shongwe and Ryan Chapman respectively in the 61st minute.

To counter that change, Ernst Middendorp brought Mogogi Gabonamong into the Celtic midfield to keep an eye on Wits’ fresh legs.

The game began to open up inside the last 25 minutes of the match as both teams went in search of the game's opening goal.

In the 82nd minute the home side went close to scoring when Nhlapo’s powerful cross from the right wing found Vilakazi’s head, but his powerful header was saved well by a diving Tignyemb.

In the dying seconds of regulation time, Onismor Bhasera got through on goal and had a fantastic chance to bury his shot but put the effort wide of goal.

The best chance of the extra time period fell to S’boniso Gumede in the second period when he got onto a Sheppard set-piece and powered his header against the woodwork.

Other than a good run by Lerato Lamola in the second half of extra-time, which almost resulted in a goal, both sides never did enough to find a goal in the extra time period.

TEAMS

Bidvest Wits

Mabokgwane – Nhlapo, Hlatshwayo, Gumede, Bhasera – Vilakazi, Mkhwanazi, Losper, Shongwe (Sheppard 61’), Chapman (Ngcobo 61’), Botes (Msomi 116’)

Bloemfontein Celtic

Tignyemb – Mzava, Fransman, Bilankulu, Mogapi – Ndengane, Cloete (Nkausu 106’), Isaacks (Gabonamong 65’), Mogorosi, Lakay – Mhango (Lamola 75’)

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