Absa Premiership

Gavin Hunt furious despite great fightback

2019-01-21 12:07
Gavin Hunt.(Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt was "hell of a disappointed" despite a great fightback as the Absa Premiership leaders drew 3-3 at Polokwane City on Sunday in a thriller.

The Johannesburg outfit came from two goals behind to lead 3-2 before being denied victory by a goal direct from a free-kick with 11 minutes remaining.

All three Polokwane goals came from set-pieces with two first-half goals coming from headers off free-kicks floated expertly into the heart of the goalmouth.

That angered Hunt, a hard-to-please coach who won the league title three times in a row with SuperSport United before guiding Wits to their first success two seasons ago.

"Polokwane did not create a single chance in open play yet they scored three goals against us. That is crazy and makes me hell of a disappointed," he fumed.

"My opinion is that the free-kick which led to the first goal should not have been awarded as there was no foul.

"Apart from our failure to deal with the set-pieces, we wasted a lot of scoring chances and could have scored seven or eight goals."

The fury of Hunt is partly explained by Wits failing to build a commanding lead in the standings while rivals Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns are playing in Africa.

Wits have 34 points from 18 matches, three more than Pirates, who have a match in hand. Sundowns are six points behind the leaders having played four less games.

Polokwane, a team coached by Slovak Jozef Vukusic who are more accustomed to relegation scraps than title chases, remained sixth, seven points adrift of Wits.

The draw in northern city Polokwane was one of the most entertaining Premiership matches this season with the outcome in doubt until the final whistle.

Adding to the unhappiness of Hunt was Wits having two goals disallowed over marginal offside decisions while a thunderous shot from Namibian Deon Hotto rattled the crossbar.

Bongile Booi and Sammy Seabi headed free-kicks past goalkeeper Darren Keet to put City two goals ahead within 28 minutes at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

But Gift Motupa netted twice - from a sizzling shot and a close-range header - within three minutes to leave the clubs level at 2-2 by half-time. 

Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo punished a defensive blunder to put Wits ahead on 61 minutes and 36-year-old Jabu Maluleke levelled with a brilliantly struck free-kick.

Neither team settled for a draw in the closing stages and both created chances to win during a tense climax.

Hosts SuperSport United edged Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 in a mid-table duel near Pretoria with the winners' long-range second goal from Tebogo Mokoena the highlight.

 

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Fixtures
Friday, 22 February 2019
Chippa United v Golden Arrows, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 23 February 2019
Cape Town City v Maritzburg United, Athlone Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Kaizer Chiefs, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United v Baroka FC, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v AmaZulu, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 24 February 2019
Bloemfontein Celtic v Free State Stars, Dr Molemela Stadium 15:30
Black Leopards v Highlands Park, Thohoyandou Stadium 15:30
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