Absa Premiership

Wits bring down Downs to bag MTN8 cup

2016-10-02 05:48
Wits (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The hunt is over for Gavin Hunt as he delivered his maiden silverware for the Students. In a week when students of higher learning were chanting “fees must fall”, Hunt masterminded the fall of Mamelodi Sundowns in the tournament, with Bidvest Wits emerging victorious.

The sad reality is that Sundowns and the other six clubs which were knocked out earlier in the MTN8 have one thing in common: they all got the same amount in prize money of R800 000.

That’s because this is a Wafa Wafa tournament as the winner takes all: R8m for the first prize.

It is about the last man standing and this season’s honours belong to Bidvest Wits.

The team won the battle of the billionaires as their boss Brian Joffe vied with Downs president Patrice Motsepe for the title.

Wits were unstoppable in the rain as they stormed to victory with ease and Sundowns had no answers on the day.

No one would have bet on Wits convincingly beating Sundowns, but this was the case as the Wits team used tactics, talent and their wits to win.

A heavy downpour just before kickoff made the playing conditions difficult for both sets of players as the pitch was slippery, making the ball difficult to control.

Wits could not have asked for a more perfect start than what they got here as Daine Klate opened the scoring just 30 seconds into the game.

This caught Sundowns by surprise as they struggled to get out of first gear.

But the Students were flying towards the title as they never looked back from their perfect start.

Chasing the game from the initial whistle was always going to be a challenge for Sundowns as they were going to be caught square at the back.

And just when the Brazilians thought they had contained them, the Clever Boys struck again in the 20th minute when Eleazar Rodgers slotted one home from a close range.

When Klate completed his brace in the second half, it was all over for Sundowns as there was no way back for them.

With another cup final coming for Sundowns in a fortnight’s time – against Zamalek in the CAF Champions League – many fear a repeat of what happened to Orlando Pirates back in 2013.

Then, the Buccaneers reached three cup finals but ended up being labelled bridesmaids as they came out empty-handed.

The sooner the Brazilians recover from this episode, the better, given that CAF awaits.

As for Hunt and his Wits team, they will cherish this moment for some time to come.

Judging by their performance so far this season, the Students have been an improved team, particularly in this tournament.

They made their intentions very clear from the beginning when they easily disposed of Orlando Pirates before accounting for Cape Town City’s downfall in the semifinals. They have much to celebrate.

Read more on:    sundowns  |  wits  |  mtn8 final  |  soccer
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Sunday, 22 April 2018
Wits v Polokwane City, Bidvest Stadium 15:00
Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Ajax Cape Town v Baroka FC, Athlone Stadium 19:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs, Princess Magogo Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Free State Stars, Lucas Moripe Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Cape Town City FC, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Wits, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Platinum Stars v AmaZulu FC, Royal Bafokeng Stadium 19:30
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The 2017/18 Absa Premiership 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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