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South African champions Bidvest Wits want Cameroonian striker Epoupa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gavin Hunt, coach of Bidvest Wits ©Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 13:00


South African side Bidvest Wits are said to have shown interest in Christian Epoupa.

The Cameroonian striker is currently on the books of Dynamos, who are campaigning in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League (ZPSL).

The highly-rated player has been linked with South African club Ajax Cape Town in the past.

Wits and another South African side Polokwane City are also believed to be keen to sign the attacker.

Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa has been quoted as confirming talks for the forward with clubs in South Africa.

“A number of clubs from South Africa have made contact with Christian,” he told News Day.

“Some were here in the past few days for negotiations and others have been talking to us on the phone.

“We have not agreed with anyone because of the price. We have put our value on the player, which the teams are saying they cannot meet,” he continued.

“The good thing on our part is that we are not desperate to sell, so we will try to get the full value of what we think our player is worth.

Epoupa scored 12 goals in the ZPSL this past season.



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Wits, Celtic battle for Telkom Knockout crown


Gabadinho Mhango of Bidvest Wits evades tackle from Mpho Matsi of Cape Town City during the 2017 MTN8 semifinal football match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 10 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Friday Dec 01, 2017. 08:30


Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic will battle for the right to be crowned 2017 Telkom Knockout champions when they meet in the final at Princess Magogo Stadium on 2 December 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Wits have progressed into their first League Cup final since 2011 after overcoming Free State Stars, Baroka FC and Kaizer Chiefs in the first three rounds of the competition. The Johannesburg side is looking to win a third League Cup title to add to trophies won in 1985 and 1995.

Celtic, who won their only Telkom Knockout title in 2012, have advanced into the final thanks to victories over SuperSport United, Platinum Stars and Polokwane City – the first and third matches were decided by post-match penalties.

This TKO final will be the 11th cup meeting of Wits and Celtic since 1985. The first 10 have been dominated by the Clever Boys, who claimed eight outright wins (plus one via penalties) and suffered just one defeat. The teams’ last knockout clash was in the first round of the 2016 Nedbank Cup, with the Johannesburg side winning 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from striker James Keene.

Overall, the teams have met in 66 matches across all competitions. Wits have claimed 31 victories compared to 19 for Celtic, while 16 matches have been drawn. Their latest meeting was a league clash in early October which saw Phunya Sele Sele triumph 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Roggert Nyundu.

The teams come into the final having been in league action this past weekend, with Wits having played out a goalless draw away to Maritzburg United, while Celtic suffered a 1-0 loss at home to Orlando Pirates.

The teams have played the same number of league matches and have seven points and eight places separating them: Phunya Sele Sele are eighth on 16 points, while the Clever Boys are last (16th) with nine points.



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Bidvest Wits captain labels Celtic as TKO favourites


Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits challenged Mosa Lebusa of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town at Bidvest Stadium on 07 February 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 28, 2017. 13:30


Bidvest Wits captain Thulani Hlatshwayo says that Bloemfontein Celtic are the favourites for this weekend’s Telkom Knockout final.

Wits sit at the bottom of South Africa’s Absa Premiership after a terrible start to the defence of their title, while Celtic are placed in the top half of the table and have made impressive progress under new coach Veselin Jelusic.

The sides will meet in the Telkom Knockout final this coming Saturday, as they compete for the last piece of silverware up for grabs in 2017.

“Celtic are the favourites,” said Hlatshwayo at the launch of the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge in Soweto on Monday, as quoted by Kick-Off.

“Sometimes if you look at the history, teams that are not doing well in the league end up winning trophies.

“Looking at where we are, it’s easy for them to underestimate us because we have not been doing well in the league. But as a team we have to make sure we bring silverware.

“Coach Gavin [Hunt] has said that he wishes the wins in the Telkom Knockout were three points, then we could have been sitting in a proper position.

“The MTN8 is gone for us and we have to go all the way to win this final on Saturday.

“If you look at our history in the Telkom Knockout, we have been knocked out in the first round. It’s good to see that the team has managed to go to the final and the guys are raring to win this cup.”

‘Tyson’ added, “Celtic has been doing well. They have a lot of speedy and skilful players. We have to make sure that we bring our A-game on the day.”



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Sundowns brush aside Bidvest Wits


Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 21 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 21:38


Mamelodi Sundowns beat Bidvest Wits 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night.

As a result, Sundowns move to fourth spot on the league table, while Wits remain 15th on the standings.

The Brazilians threatened first through Tebogo Langerman, who forced Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet into a decent save a few minutes into game.

The Clever Boys were struggling to penetrate the Sundowns defence and test keeper Denis Onyango, who had a relatively quiet first-half.

Keet had to be alert in the 17th minute and he produced a wonderful save to deny Thapelo Morena as the visitors searched for the opening goal.

Wits wing-back Thato Tlhone tried his luck from range in the 26th minute and his effort missed the target without troubling Onyango.

Pressure mounted on the Clever Boys defence and Sibusiso Vilakazi hit the woodwork with the half-time break fast approaching.

The score was 0-0 at interval between Wits and Sundowns after Keet denied Vilakazi on the stroke of half-time.

Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane made the first change of the game 11 minutes into the second-half.

Khama Billiat, who replaced Morena, proved to be a super-sub as fired past Keet to make it 1-0 to Sundowns in the 62nd minute.

Gavin Hunt, the Wits head coach, responded by introducing James Keene three minutes later.

The English striker had scored the only goal of the match as Wits beat Chiefs 1-0 in a Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final clash on Saturday.

But Billiat sealed Sundowns’ 2-0 victory with a clinical finish in the closing stages of the game with the Wits defence exposed.

Wits (0)

Sundowns (0) 2 (Billiat 62′, 81′)

Wits: Keet, Ntshangase, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Frosler, Tlhone (Keene 65′), Mlambo, Monare, Pelembe (Pule 69′), Klate, Gamal.

Sundowns: Onyango, Morena (Billiat 56′), Langerman, Soumahoro, Ngcongca (Laffor 85′), Madisha, Kekana, Mabunda, Manyisa, Tau, Vilakazi (Zwane 81′).



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Wits, Sundowns renew their rivalry – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Granwald Scott of Bidvest Wits challenges Khama Billiat of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Bidbest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns on 01 May 2017 at Bidvest Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 09:30


Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns will renew their rivalry in the Absa Premiership when they meet at the Bidvest Stadium on 21 November 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Wits hit a new low in the defence of their title as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Chippa United on November 1. It was the Johannesburg side’s fifth loss in just nine league matches this season.

Three of those defeats have come at home, with the Clever Boys unable to turn Bidvest Stadium into a fortress like they did last season. However, Wits did manage a home win against Orlando Pirates in September and the visit of another league heavyweight may inspire them to up their game.

Sundowns bounced back from two straight defeats by handing Orlando Pirates a 3-1 beating in Soweto on November 1, with Hlompho Kekana scoring a brace of goals – one of which was a ‘goal of the season’ contender.

The Brazilians have had a similar problem to Wits in terms of home form (they have lost all three matches as hosts this season), but when it comes to their travels, Pitso Mosimane’s side have been peerless, claiming four wins from as many games on the road.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and Sundowns have met in 63 league matches since 1985. The Brazilians have claimed 34 wins compared to 17 for the Clever Boys, while 12 matches have been drawn. The Johannesburg side has won 13 of their 32 home league matches against their Tshwane counterparts, suffering 15 defeats in the process.

Last season ‘Downs claimed a 2-0 home win in the first half of the campaign, but Wits replied with a 1-0 triumph in Johannesburg in the return game – the result sealed their first Absa Premiership title. The Clever Boys’ last three home league matches against the Brazilians have produced just three goals.

Wits’ line-up from their 2-0 loss to Chippa on November 1: Keet, Allie, Khumalo, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Pelembe (Keene 82’), Scott, Mlambo (Pienaar 63’), Klate, Pule (Phiri 75’), Gamal.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 3-1 win over Pirates on November 1: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Morena, Madisha, Ngcongca, Kekana (T. Zwane 75′), Mabunda, Vilakazi (Laffor 79′), Manyisa, Tau (Billiat 69′).



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Wits beat Chiefs to reach Telkom Knockout Cup final


by
Brian Lee

Saturday Nov 18, 2017. 18:00

Kaizer Chiefs lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Bidvest Stadium.

The Clever Boys netted their goal through striker James Keene.

Although both teams started on a cautious note, it was the Students who had a chance in the seventh minute as Amr Gamal turned Erick Mathoho in the box, but his shot was parried away by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Two minutes later, a brilliant display of football by Amakhosi in the Wits half saw them exchanging passes between Wiseman Meyiwa and Bernard Parker, only to see a rushed shot from Philani Zulu which went wide.

In the 27th minute, Meyiwa was shown a straight red card following a reckless foul after stepping on Daine Klate and Amakhosi were reduced to ten men.

A minute later Keene ensured the hosts were in the driving seat as he scored a fine header to beat Khune on his right corner, 1-0.

With four minutes to go to the interval, George Maluleka spotted Wits keeper Darren Keet off his line, but the midfielder’s long range shot was off target.

Coach Gavin Hunt’s men were leading at half time and coach Steve Komphela introduced Gustavo Paez as he sacrificed Daniel Cardoso.

Paez nearly punished the Clever Boys after receiving a brilliant pass from Willard Katsande, but his final pass in search of Siphiwe Tshabalala was cleared by the Wits defence in the 50th minute.

It was all Chiefs in the second stanza and substitute Dumisani Zuma nearly equalised in 65th minute when he saw his well struck shot sailing inches wide off Keet’s left post.

For the second time, Zuma managed to sneak in behind the hosts defence after a great defence splitting pass by Tshabalala,  but the substitute’s effort was blocked by Keet who came off his line in the 73rd minute.

Zuma had a big impact on the game and was on target in injury time as his effort hit the cross bar with Keen off his line.

Despite their efforts to throw everything at Wits, the Naturena-based side could not beat Keet who had an outstanding game.

Bidvest Wits: (1) 1 (Keene 28′)

Kaizer Chiefs: (0)

Bidvest Wits:  Keet, Klate (Pienaar 69′), Monare, Gamal, Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Mlambo, Tlhone, Keene (Pelembe 84′), Frosler, Ntshangase

Kaizer Chiefs: Khune, Cardoso (Paez 47′), Mathoho, Ngezana, Zulu (Ekstein 78′), Katsande, Maluleka, Meyiwa, Tshabalala, Molangoane, Parker (Zuma 64′)



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Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela: Brilliant Khuzwayo is ready to start against Wits – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Brilliant Khuzwayo of Kaizer Chiefs during the 2017 Telkom Knockout Kaizer Chiefs media day at Chiefs Village, Johannesburg on 15 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 10:30


Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela has dropped a hint that goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo could man the goalposts when they take on Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout semifinals this weekend.

The highly anticipated clash is set for this Saturday at Bidvest Stadium and Komphela says Khuzwayo could start if Itumeleng Khune arrives back from Senegal in a poor shape.

Khune travelled with Bafana Bafana to Dakar as they wrapped up their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday with a 2-1 loss.

The coach is concerned with Khune who played with a protective face mask on Friday after suffering a facial injury against Chippa United in the TKO quarterfinals.

Apart from ‘Itu’, Amakhosi have Siphiwe Tshabalala and Mulomowandau Mathoho who were also part of Stuart Baxter Bafana squad and Komphela will decide on using them.

“They are all ready. Brilliant is ready. Brilliant has been training well. Bruce Bvuma is also there‚” Komphela said to the media.

“The thing we can be happy about is that ‘Itu’ played without a mask (on Tuesday).

“And the only thing that we would be worried about‚ even for ‘Shabba’ (Tshabalala) and ‘Tower’ (Mathoho)‚ is that if given an opportunity to play on Saturday‚ would they have recovered?

“Because it’s killing to travel throughout Africa. But there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Komphela will want to lift the TKO Cup and bring his first trophy to Naturena after failing to do so in his first two seasons with the Soweto giants.



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Wits, Chiefs renew cup rivalry


Gustavo Paez of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Sifiso Hlanti of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 27 May 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 09:30


Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs will write another chapter in their extensive cup history when they meet in the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout at Bidvest Stadium on 18 November 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Wits and Chiefs have met in no less than 28 cup matches since 1985: the Soweto side have claimed 14 wins in the rivalry compared to seven for the Johannesburg side (who have also side claimed four victories via a penalty shootout).

The teams’ last cup meeting was in the 2014 Nedbank Cup semifinals, where the match ended 2-2 before Wits went on to win via post-match spot kicks, while the pair last crossed swords in the Telkom Knockout back in 2012 in a match which saw the Clever Boys claim a narrow 3-2 win.

Overall, the teams have met in 91 matches across all competitions since 1985. Chiefs have claimed 45 wins compared to 19 for Wits, while 27 matches have been drawn. The teams have met once already this season, playing out a 1-1 draw in a league clash back in September: Siphiwe Tshabalala opened the scoring for the Amakhosi, but the Clever Boys hit back late on through Amr Gamal.

Wits earned their place in the semifinals thanks to victories over Free State Stars (4-2 after extra time) and Baroka FC (1-0) in the last 16 and quarterfinals respectively. The Clever Boys are two-time League Cup champions, claiming the trophy in 1985 and 1995, and will fancy their chances of a first title in the Telkom Knockout era if they can overcome the Soweto giants.

Chiefs, meanwhile, overcame AmaZulu (3-0) and Chippa (1-0) in the last 16 and quarterfinals respectively to claim a place in the final four of the 2017 TKO. The Soweto giants have won a record 13 League Cup titles (three of them in the TKO era), though their last triumph was in the 2010/11 season.

The winners of this match will go on to face either Polokwane City or Bloemfontein Celtic – who meet at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday, 19 November – in the final next month.



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Gamal leads Bidvest Wits into TKO final four – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Ahmed Gamal Amr of Bidvest Wits

by
Bertin Basson

Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 22:40


Bidvest Wits booked their place in the semifinals of the 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup with a 1-0 win over Baroka FC at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday evening.

Amr Gamal with the only goal of the game as the Clever Boys sealed their spot in the final four. Victory restoring some hope for Gavin Hunt, with his troops currently battling at the wrong end of the Absa Premiership log standings.

Bakgaga, who have enjoyed a stellar campaign thus far, made their intentions clear from the onset and went close through Gift Motupa within two minutes.

Darren Keet forced into a top save to deny the midfielder who’s dipping effort from range was on it’s way to rattling the back of the net.

The Clever Boys duly opened the scoring as Gamal bagged his third of the competition: guiding home Vincent Pule’s low cross.

The visitors continued to probe with chances aplenty at either end of the pitch throughout the opening stanza. Keet up to the task once more in the 40th minute after Motupa broke through on goal.

Hunt’s men with a narrow lead at the break.

Bidvest Wits tightened up their defence following the interval as they set their sights on the next round, but progression wasn’t sealed without a few nervy moments.

Robin Ngalande and Albert Mothupa guilty of scuffing their attempted efforts after darting in behind the Clever Boys defence.

In the end, though, Gamal’s early goal proved to be the difference between the two sides as domestic football takes a back seat ahead of the impending international break.

Bidvest Wits (1) 1 (Gamal 10′)

Baroka FC (0) 0

Bidvest Wits: Keet; Frosler, Hlatshwayo, Allie (Scott 62′), Hlanti – Ntshangase, Monare, Pelembe, Klate (Mkhwanazi (90+4′) – Pule, Gamal (Keene 83′).

Baroka FC: Vries; Kgoetyane, Mahashe, Banda, Mothupa, Moeti (Matloga 87′), Madubanya, Mdantsane (Nguzana 81′), Motupa – Chawapiwa, Macha (Ngalande 46′).



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Wits slump to new low in home loss to Chippa – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Sifiso Hlanti of Bidvest Wits challenges Moeketsi Sekola of Chippa United during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Bidvest Wits and Chippa United at Bidvest Wits Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 01 November 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 21:36


Bidvest Wits continue to look a shadow of the team which won the Absa Premiership last season, as they slumped to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Chippa United on Wednesday night.

Samuel Julies came off the bench to score his first league goals since 2012 and inspire the Chilli Boys to their first away win of the season, while the Clever Boys have now suffered five defeats from just nine matches thus far.

Chippa nearly claimed the lead as early as the fourth minute, as a scramble in the penalty area after a mistake from Darren Keet ended with James Okwuosa stabbing a shot which hit the underside of the crossbar.

That proved to be the only attacking highlight of an otherwise cagey first half. Wits dominated possession and created a few promising moments thanks to the class of their wide-men Elias Pelembe and Daine Klate, but they couldn’t quite service strikers Vincent Pule and Amr Gamal.

Chippa, meanwhile, looked sporadically dangerous on the counter attack, but they were unwilling to commit too many men forward for fear of being caught short at the back by the reigning league champions.

The second half saw the Clever Boys continue to be the more positive and enterprising team, and coach Gavin Hunt looked to add a little creativity to the mix when he introduced veteran playmaker Steven Pienaar just after the hour mark.

On 75 minutes Chippa’s Daniel Akpeyi needed Okwuosa to bail him out by clearing the ball off the line after the goalkeeper dropped a simple cross, while seconds later substitute Samuel Julies shot wide after being beautifully set up by a through ball from Paseka Mako.

Yet just two minutes later Julies made up for his error by striking home a low shot after more good work from Mako, putting the Chilli Boys into a lead which was very much against the general run of play.

And things got even better for Julies in the 85th minute when he scored a ‘goal of the season’ contender, whipping a left-footed curler into the top corner of the net to make it 2-0 and wrap up the three points for the Eastern Cape side.

Bidvest Wits 0

Chippa United (0) 2 (Julies 77’ 85’)

Wits: Keet, Allie, Khumalo, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Pelembe (Keene 82’), Scott, Mlambo (Pienaar 63’), Klate, Pule (Phiri 75’), Gamal

Chippa: Akpeyi, Macheke, Okwuosa, Bergman, Maphanga, Mvelase (Mbenyane 58’), Mabaso, Lentjies (Julies 64’), Mdlinzo, Mako, Sekola (Mbokoma 82’)



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Wits chase back-to-back wins – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Papy Faty of Bidvest Wits challenged by Buyani Sali of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Chippa United at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on April 30, 2016 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Staff Reporter

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 10:16


Bidvest Wits will chase back-to-back wins in the Absa Premiership when they host Chippa United at Bidvest Stadium on 1 November 2017.

Wits claimed just their second league win this season when they defeated log leaders Baroka FC 1-0 on October 22. Vincent Pule’s first-half goal proved the difference between the teams and helped lift the Johannesburg club out of the relegation zone.

The Clever Boys have recorded one win and two losses from three home matches this season. Their lone win as hosts was a 1-0 triumph over Orlando Pirates in September, and this will be their first home match since that three-pointer.

Chippa have gone six league matches without defeat and claimed their second win of the season when they overcame Cape Town City 2-1 at home on October 22. The Eastern Cape side came from a goal down to secure the victory – the first of coach Teboho Moloi’s reign.

The Chilli Boys have yet to win on the road this season, though, having recorded three draws and a loss from their four away matches. Their last game outside of the Eastern Cape was a 1-1 draw at Golden Arrows in late September.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and Chippa have met in eight league matches since 2012/13. The Clever Boys have claimed three wins compared to one for the Chilli Boys, while three matches have been drawn. The Johannesburg side boasts an unbeaten home record in league matches against Chippa, with two wins and two draws from four matches.

Last season Wits took four points off Chippa: the eventual champions won 1-0 at home in the first half of the campaign, before playing out a goalless stalemate in the return game in the Eastern Cape. The Clever Boys have managed just four goals in an as many home matches against the Chilli Boys.

Wits’ line-up from their 1-0 win over Baroka on October 22: Peters, Allie, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Klate, Monare [Claasen 46’ (Scott 70’)], Gamal (Rodgers 83’), Pelembe, Pule, Hlanti, Mlambo.

Chippa’s line-up from their 2-1 win over City on October 22: Akpeyi, Macheke, Konqobe, Okwuosa, Maphanga, Zuke (Mvelase 68′), Mabaso, Lentjies, Mdlinzo (Masuku 52′), Mayambela, Manzini (Mashego 59′).



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Bidvest Wits lose in Bloemfontein – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Roggert Nyundu of Bloemfontein Celtic challenged by Slavko Damjanovic of Bidvest Wits during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bloemfobtein Celtic and Bidvest Wits at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein on 01 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Oct 01, 2017. 17:16


Bidvest Wits suffered their third Absa Premiership defeat when they lost 1-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr. Molemela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The league’s defending champions continued with their poor start and are now sitting at number 15 on the table with five points from seven games.

For the Free State side, Roggert Nyundu scored in the second stanza to ensure they claim their first win at home.

Both camps exchanged ball retention in the heart of the field early on and both goalkeepers were not tested in the opening 10 minutes.

In the 15th minute it was Frank Mhango who had the first shot on goal, but his well-struck effort sailed over the Celtic cross bar.

Good football by the defending champions saw Reeve Frosler delivering a great cross for Amr Gamal in the 26th minute, but the latter’s header went inches wide.

Despite their dominance, the Clever Boys could not trouble their hosts and squandered possession time and again with poor decision making in the final third.

There were no goals in the opening stanza.

Veselin Jelusic’s men, though, would break the deadlock in the 76th minute when Nyundu scored at close range to finish off Hotto’s cross from the left wing, 1-0.

Wits looked to make a quick response in the 84th minute when Daylon Claasen set up fellow substitute Kobamelo Kodisang in the box, but the latter’s effort was punched away by Tignyemb for a corner.

Celtic were under siege in the final minutes of the tie, but they defended well to hold on for the 1-0 win.

In the wake of the victory, Phunya Sele Sele now occupy the seventh spot on the log table with nine points from seven matches.

Bloemfontein Celtic: (0) 1 (Nyundu 76′)

Bidvest Wits: (0)

Celtic: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena, Mashikinya, Letlabika (Lubisi 54′), Baloyi, Hotto, Motshegwa, Nyundu (Letsoalo 89′)

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Khumalo, Damjanovic, Scott, Monare (Keene 81′), Gamal, Hlanti, Mhango (Claasen 71′), Phiri (Kodisang 71′), Frosler, Ntshangase



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Celtic, Wits renew rivalry – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gerald Phiri of Bidvest Wits (r) celebrates goal during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Oct 01, 2017. 12:00


Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits will renew their rivalry when they meet in an Absa Premiership clash at Dr Molemela Stadium on 1 October 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

Celtic played to their third draw of the season when they were held 0-0 at Chippa United on September 24. The Bloemfontein side has failed to score in either of their last two league matches and will want to break that drought as quickly as possible.

Phunya Sele Sele have played just twice at home so far in the 2017/18 campaign: they drew 1-1 with Kaizer Chiefs in the opening round and succumbed to a 2-0 loss at the hands of Baroka FC on matchday four.

Wits finally claimed their first league win of the season when they defeated Orlando Pirates 1-0 at home on September 23. The Johannesburg side scored early through Gerald Phiri Jr and were able to hold out and claim all three points.

The Clever Boys have claimed two points from their three away matches so far this season, though their last game on the road ended in an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of AmaZulu.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Wits have met in 55 league matches since 1985. The Clever Boys have claimed 23 wins compared to 17 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 15 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has claimed 12 wins from 27 home league matches against Wits, suffering eight defeats in the process.

Last season the Johannesburg side claimed a league ‘double’ over Celtic: they won 2-1 in Bloemfontein in the first half of the campaign, and 3-1 in the return game in Gauteng. Former Phunya Sele Sele striker Frank Mhango scored for the Clever Boys in both matches.

Celtic’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Chippa on September 24: Tignyemb, Baloyi, Letlabika, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Hotto, Ndengane, Phalane, Mabena (Motshegwa 90′), Mabaso (Nyundu 50′), Letsoalo (Mahlasela 66′).

Wits’ line-up from their 1-0 win over Pirates on September 23: Josephs, Khumalo, Ntshangase, Hlanti, Phiri Jnr (Rodgers 69′), Keene (Scott 66′), Damjanovic, Motshwari, Monare, Frosler, Gamal (Klate 79′).



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Wits beat Pirates to claim first league win – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Gerald Phiri of Bidvest Wits (r) celebrates goal during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 23, 2017. 21:14


Orlando Pirates suffered their first 2017/18 Absa premiership defeat when they lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening at Bidvest Stadium.

The loss for the Buccaneers means they now occupy the third spot on the log table with 11 points from six games.

However for the hosts, Gerald Phiri Junior scored to ensure the reigning league champions claimed their first win in this season’s campaign.

As early as the fifth minute, Phiri Junior converted with a powerful shot in the box after Pirates defence failed to clear a diagonal ball from the right wing.

Both giants had a bright start and three minutes later, Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs was saved by his cross bar after Thabo Qalinge rattled the woodwork.

In the 12th minute, the hosts protested for a penalty after Happy Jele fouled Amr Gamal in the box, but their call fell on referee Luthando Ndzandzeka’s deaf ears.

With 15 minutes to go the interval, coach Gavin Hunt’s men pushed forward and Reeve Frosler cut inside and smashed a left-footed effort, but it went wide off the upright.

At half time, it was the reigning league champions who went to the tunnel enjoying the lead.

Upon their return, Thabo Matlaba nearly found an equaliser after a brilliant pass from Thamsanqa Gabuza and the left-footed player saw his well-struck shot fantastically saved by Josephs.

Sredojevic introduced Mpho Makol towards the 60th minute and they upped their attacking prowess, but Matlaba missed after a great set up by the former.

Despite enjoying the ball possession, Pirates continued to fire blanks in front of goal as the Clever Boys managed to claim their first win in the league.

In the wake of the victory, Wits now sit at number 13 on the log standings with five points from six matches.

Bidvest Wits: (1) 1 (Phiri 5′)

Orlando Pirates: (0)

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Khumalo, Ntshangase, Hlanti, Phiri Jnr (Rodgers 69′), Keene (Scott 66′), Damjanovic, Motshwari, Monare, Frosler, Gamal (Klate 79′)

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Maela, Nyauza, Matlaba, Dube, Jele, Nyatama, Lorch (Makola 57′), Qalinge (Morrison 71′) , Foster (Kutumela 52′), Gabuza



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Struggling Wits welcome in-form Pirates


Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates challenged by Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 04 May 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 10:30


Bidvest Wits will look to kick-start their Absa Premiership campaign when they host Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on 23 September 2017, kick-off at 18h00.

Wits have gone five league matches without a win this season (the worst start to a title defence in PSL history) and suffered their heaviest loss of the campaign thus far when they were thrashed 3-0 at AmaZulu in midweek.

The Clever Boys and coach Gavin Hunt will need to sort out their leaky defence if they are to have any chance of turning around their form: Wits have conceded 10 goals so far this season – the worst record in the top flight.

Orlando Pirates retained their unbeaten start to the season when they edged Cape Town City 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on September 19. Thabo Qalinge scored the only goal of the game as the Buccaneers won a third successive home match by a lone goal.

Milutin Sredojevic’s side have yet to win away, however, as their two trips on the road have resulted in draws at Baroka FC (1-1) and Maritzburg United (0-0). The Buccaneers will want to claim that first victory away from home and it would be especially sweet if it arrived at the expense of the reigning champions.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and Pirates have met in 63 league matches since 1985. The Buccaneers have claimed 25 wins to the Clever Boys’ 17, while 21 matches have been drawn. The University-based side has claimed 10 wins and suffered 11 defeats from 32 turns as hosts in this rivalry.

Last season Wits claimed a league ‘double’ over Pirates: a brace from Frank Mhango took them to a 2-1 victory in Soweto in the first half of the campaign, while the return game in Milpark saw the Clever Boys win through a strike from Cuthbert Malajila. Wits have won their last five successive league games against Pirates.

Wits’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to AmaZulu on September 20: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Hlanti, Scott, Motshwari, Ntshangase, Pule (Kodisang 66′), Claasen (Mhango 46′), Pienaar (Klate 46′), Gamal.

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-0 win over City on September 19: Sandilands, Jele, Nyauza, Maela, Dube, Matlaba, Nyatama, Qalinge, Makola (Kutumela 59′), Lorch (Memela 75′), Morrison (Foster 51′).



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Hunt: Claasen is still adapting at Bidvest Wits – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Daylon Claasen of Bidvest Wits is challenged by Robyn Johannes of Cape Town City during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City on the 18 August 2017 at Bidvest Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 12:00


Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt says he is happy with how Steven Pienaar and Daylon Claasen have performed at the Johannesburg-based side.

The two attacking midfielders are yet to make any impact at the reigning South African champions since joining the club three months ago.

Pienaar, 35, and Claasen, 27, joined the Clever Boys as free agents after parting ways with English side Sunderland and German club 1860 Munich respectively.

The South African midfielders have walked straight into the Wits starting line-up, but the team is yet to win a competitive match in 90 minutes this season.

The Absa Premiership champions collected their second point of the season from four games when they fought back to hold Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-1 stalemate at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

“As you know, we lost one or two players from last season, so we obviously brought a guy like Steven in and I think he’s been hugely influential in the dressing room,” Hunt told the media.

“I mean, he hasn’t got the legs anymore, but the brain moves and you saw tonight. I thought he was excellent under difficult circumstances – having gone a man down.

“I was thinking, ‘I need to take him out’ but then I tried to keep him going for as long as I could,” the four-time Absa Premiership title winning coach continued.

“Daylon also didn’t play much football last season, I’m also trying to find out where he plays in the different systems or whatever you want to call it.

“That also takes a little bit of time. Synergy takes time, you know, those types of things… But both of them have been excellent in training, good professionals, good ambassadors for the club, and good people – that’s more important.”



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Kaizer Chiefs held by 10-men Wits


Lorenzo Gordhino of Kaizer Chiefs during 2017 MTN8 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban South Africa on 12 August 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Sep 16, 2017. 20:13


Despite scoring first through Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kaizer Chiefs failed to claim the full three points as they drew 1-1 against Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening at the FNB Stadium.

In the wake of the draw, coach Steve Komphela’s men now occupy the eighth spot with five points from four matches so far.

As early as the second minute, the Clever Boys showed their intentions and exchanged good passes as Granwald Scott unleashed a powerful shot, but goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune collected.

In the 11th minute, Khune was called in to produce a fine save as he denied Gamal from a powerful header.

Steve Komphela’s men tried to attack the Clever Boys, but they failed to create chances and threaten the visiting defence.

However, in the 36th minute, skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo saw his well-struck shot saved by Khune, who initially spilled the ball.

Just before the end of the first half, Wits were reduced to 10 men when Nazeer Allie was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Siphiwe Tshabalala.

There were no goals in the opening half, but Amakhosi showed more ambition when they returned from the tunnel.

Steve Komphela’s men exchanged good passes and Tshabalala unleashed a shot trying to test Moeneeb Josephs from a distance, but the effort went wide of the right corner of the post.

However, in the 64th minute, Tshabalala broke the deadlock as he converted from close range to easily slot the ball into an empty net after a wonderful cross by Kgotso Moleko on the right flank.

Despite playing with a man down, Wits took the game to their hosts and Vincent Pule tried to beat Khune from the edge of the area a minute later, but the keeper slightly touched the ball to hit the crossbar.

The defending champions continued to pile pressure on the Soweto giants and with two minutes left to wrap the encounter, substitute Frank Mhango packed a powerful shot from a distance and Khune managed to punch the ball away from danger.

Right in injury time, Gamal managed to beat the Chiefs defence and delivered a brilliant shot to beat Khune on his right-hand corner, making it 1-1.

For the Braamfontein-based side, their second draw leaves them sitting at number 14 with two points on the log table and they are still chasing their first win in the 2017/18 league campaign.

Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Tshabalala 64’)

Bidvest Wits (0) 1 (Gamal 90+2’)

Chiefs: Khune, Moleko, Gordinho, Cardoso, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka (Buchanan 67’), Jayiya, Meyiwa, Tshabalala (Twala 78’), Paez (Parker 72’)

Wits: Josephs, Allie, Khumalo, Hlatshwayo, Hlanti, Claasen (Ntshangase 57’), Pienaar (Mhango 64’), Scott (Motshwari 57’), Pelembe, Pule, Gamal



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Wits’ stuttering start continues – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Ahmed Gamal Amr of Bidvest Wits challenged by Limbikani Mzava of Golden Arrows during 2017/18 Absa Premiership game between Bidvest Wits and Golden Arrows at Bidvest Wits Stadium on 13 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Sep 13, 2017. 21:27


Bidvest Wits’ stuttering start to the 2017/18 season continued on Wednesday night when they were beaten 3-1 by visitors Golden Arrows at the Bidvest Stadium.

The Absa Premiership champions have yet to win a match outright this season, and despite a league debut goal from Amr Gamal they succumbed to an Abafana Bes’thende team which had more power, speed and hunger for the three points.

Arrows had a strong shout for a penalty as early as the third minute when the speedy Kudakwashe Mahachi tore open Wits’ defence before tumbling under a challenge from Ben Motshwari, but the referee ignored their appeals.

That incident set the tone for a fast-paced, end-to-end first half in which the teams traded scoring chances – and some robust challenges.

The hosts should have claimed the lead in the 24th minute when Amr Gamal took advantage of mistake from Limbikani Mzava to tee up strike partner Frank Mhango, but the Malawian fluffed his chance and failed to test goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede.

Arrows always looked dangerous due to their pace and power, and on 33 minutes Siphelele Magubane showed plenty of both to get the better of Siphelele Ntshangase down the left before handing Lerato Lamola a tap-in to put the visitors 1-0 up.

Just four minutes later the Clever Boys almost equalised, with Mhango denied by a superb save from Gumede, but the keeper was beaten less than 60 seconds later as Gamal turned the ball home from close range after great set-up work by his fellow forward, 1-1.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt opted for a double change at the start of the second half, sending on veteran Nazeer Allie and the mobile, attack-minded Kobamelo Kodisang.

The latter was at fault in the 55th minute when Arrows reclaimed the lead – Kodisang gave the ball away near the halfway line and allowed the visitors to surge forward on a counter attack which ended with Zolani Nkombelo firing a left-footed effort into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.

The hosts should have levelled up in the 73rd minute when a lofted cross from Allie found its way to the unmarked Gamal at the far post, but the Egyptian scooped his shot high over the target.

Six minutes later substitute Eleazar Rodgers had a free header after another fine cross – this time by Daylon Claasen – but his weak effort was easily saved by Gumede.

The missed chances came back to haunt Wits, who conceded a third goal in added time to substitute Nduduzo Sibiya, who superbly finished a great pass from Mahachi to wrap up the scoring at 3-1.

Bidvest Wits (1) 1 (Gamal 38’)

Golden Arrows (1) 3 (Lamola 33’, Nkombelo 55’, Sibiya 90+1’)

Wits: Josephs, Frosler (Kodisang 46’), Hlatshwayo, Damjanovic, Thlone, Claasen, Mlambo (Allie 46’), Ntshangase, Motshwari, Mhango (Rodgers 70’), Gamal

Arrows: Gumede, Mzava, Bilankulu, S. Dube, Mngwengwe, Nkombelo, Shongwe (Sibiya 68’), Magubane, Jooste (N. Cele 67’), Mahachi, Lamola (Mutizwa 81’)



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Wits target first league win of the season


Sibusiso Sibeko of Golden Arrows challenged by Reeve Frosler of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Bidvest Wits and Golden Arrows at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on the 11 April 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 12, 2017. 17:09


Bidvest Wits will target a first Absa Premiership win of the season when they host Golden Arrows at Bidvest Stadium on 13 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Wits’ title defence has got off to a painfully slow start, with a surprise 1-0 loss at home to Cape Town City on the opening weekend followed by a midweek 2-2 draw away to Free State Stars – very much coach Gavin Hunt’s ‘bogey’ side.

The Clever Boys will not be panicking at having claimed just one point from their opening two matches, but Hunt will emphasise the importance of victory in this home clash and hope that it sparks some momentum for the Johannesburg club.

Arrows have also struggled to get going in the league season, playing to successive 1-1 draws against Ajax Cape Town (away) and Bloemfontein Celtic (home).

Coach Clinton Larsen will want to see more fire from his Abafana Bes’thende side – though not as much as when the teams met in the MTN8 a few weeks back, and both he and counterpart Gavin Hunt were on the receiving end of six red cards dished out.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and Arrows have met in 28 league matches since 2001/02. The Johannesburg side has claimed 17 wins compared to four for their Durban counterparts, while seven matches have been drawn. The Clever Boys have a great home record in the league against Abafana Bes’thende, with 10 wins and just one defeat from 14 matches as hosts.

Wits took four points off Arrows last season, drawing 0-0 in Durban before claiming a 3-0 home win in the return thanks to a penalty from Frank Mhango and a brace of Mogakolodi Ngele goals. The Clever Boys are unbeaten in their last 15 league matches against Abafana Bes’thende.

Wits’ line-up from their 2-2 draw with Stars: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Monare, Rodgers (Keene 79’), Hlanti, Claasen, Mhango, Kodisang, Frosler, Ntshangase (Pienaar 62’).

Arrows’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Celtic: Gumede, Mzava, Bilankulu, Mngwengwe, Nonyane (Nkombelo 37′), Dlamini, Mahachi, Cele, Jooste (Mutizwa 76′), Magubane (Sibiya 63′), Lamola.



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2017 MTN8: BIDVEST WITS 1-2 CAPE TOWN CITY – AS IT HAPPENED – MTN8 2017


Ahmed Gamal Amr of Bidvest Wits is challenged by Taariq Fielies of Cape Town City during the 2017 MTN8 Semifinal 1st leg fixture between Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium on 27 August 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Sep 10, 2017. 16:50


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2017 MTN8 Cup semi-final second-leg match between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

LINEUPS:

Wits: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Damjanovic, Scott, Gamal Amr, Pelembe, Pule, Hlanti, Pienaar, Kodisang, Frosler.

City: Walters, Mkhize, Fielies, Johannes, Seedat, Nodada, Putsche, Modise, Masina, Majoro, Patosi.

COMMENTARY:

That’s all from the Bidvest Stadium where Cape Town City beat Bidvest Wits 2-1 and the former advanced to the 2017 MTN8 Cup final after winning the tie 3-1 on aggregate. Please join us again next time. Cheers!



FULL-TIME! Wits 1-2 City.

95′ – CLOSE! Wits striker Rodgers misses the target from close range.

90′ – The fourth official has added five minutes.

85′ – It’s end to end stuff in the closing stages of the match as City are looking dangerous on the counter-attack.

80′ – City sub: Gumede IN, Modise OUT.

75′ – Damjanovic connects with Wits midfielder Pienaar’s corner-kick, but he heads over the crossbar.

71′ – GOAL! Wits 1-2 City. Majoro turns and fires home from inside the Wits box.

70′ – GREAT SAVE! City full-back Seedat receives the ball in the Wits box and he forces keeper Josephs into a great diving save.

66′ – Caution: Patosi (City) booked.

65′ – City forward Majoro is sent through on goal by Nodada, but the former is ruled offside.

62′ – Wits sub: Mhango IN, Pelembe OUT.

60′ – City sub: Matsi IN, Putsche OUT.

55′ – Wits winger Pelembe whips a good cross into the City box and Johannes makes a great clearance.

54′ – City sub: Lakay IN, Masina OUT.

50′ – City winger Patosi beats his marker, but the ball goes out for a throw in as the visitors search for an early goal in the second-half.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

46′ – Wits sub: Klate IN, Pule OUT.

46′ – Wits sub: Rodgers IN, Gamal OUT.

HALF-TIME! Wits 1-1 City. (Aggregate score Wits 1-2 City).

45′ – The fourth official has added three minutes.

40′ – CLOSE! City captain Johannes makes a world class goal-line clearance after the ball had hit the crossbar as Wits press the visitors.

35′ – Caution: Pienaar (Wits) is booked.

30′ – It is 1-1 as we reach the half-hour mark here at the Bidvest Stadium. City are leading 2-1 on aggregate.

27′ – GOAL! Wits 1-1 City. Gamal scores an own goal from Patosi’s free-kick.

25′ – Walters, the City keeper, comes out to gather Wits winger Pule’s header.

20′ – Modise plays a through pass for his City teammate Majoro, but Wits keeper Josephs comes out to gather the ball as the Citizens search for the equalizing goal.

15′ – Seedat whips a long ball forward for his City teammate Masina, who is ruled offside.

11′ – GOAL! Wits 1-0 City. Hlatshwayo scores from close range following a scramble in the City box.

10′ – Play is stopped as City midfielder Modise is down injured as Wits continue to press the visitors.

5′ – Hlanti whips a dangerous low cross across the City goal and the ball goes out for a goal-kick as Wits, who are trailing 1-0 on aggregate, search for an early goal.

1′ – The match is underway.



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Al Ahly acquire Mahlambi from Bidvest Wits – 2017 CAF Champions League


Phakamani Mahlambi (L) and Kermit Erasmus

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 08, 2017. 12:00


South African international Phakamani Mahlambi has joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly on a long-term deal.

The 19-year-old forward has secured a move to Al Ahly from South African champions Bidvest Wits on a four-year deal.

Record eight-time African champions Al Ahly dislcosed that they had acquired Mahlambi’s services on their official website.

A club statement read: “Phakamani Mahlambi, signed for the first team of football club Ahly for four seasons starting from the next season 2017-2018 in the presence of Major General Sherine Shams Executive Director of the club and Dr. Essam Siraj Commercial Director and Contracting.

“Mahlambi was present at the club’s headquarters on the island Thursday evening and was present at the team which was held today at the stadium.”

The talented forward helped Wits win the 2016/17 ABSA Premiership title and 2016 MTN8 Cup trophy.

He represented South Africa at the 2015 CAF Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Senegal.



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Third time lucky for Wits against City? – MTN8 2017


Lyle Lakay of Cape Town City flicks the ball past Sifiso Hlanti of Bidvest Wits during the 2017 MTN8 Semifinal 1st leg fixture between Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium on 27 August 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 07, 2017. 12:30


Bidvest Wits will hope it is a case of ‘third time lucky’ when they host Cape Town City for the second leg of their MTN8 semifinal, set for Bidvest Stadium on 10 September 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

Wits have already suffered two defeats at the hands of City so far this season, with a 1-0 home loss on the opening weekend of the Absa Premiership followed by a defeat of the same margin in Cape Town in the teams’ semifinal, first leg clash in late August.

Benni McCarthy seems to have the wood over his former mentor Gavin Hunt, but this tie is only at the halfway point and the veteran coach will fancy his chances of masterminding a comeback against his rookie counterpart.

Ayanda Patosi’s goal separates the teams heading into his decisive clash. While the Citizens know that a clean sheet will secure progression, it is against McCarthy’s instincts to defend a lead and he will no doubt set out his side with the intention of adding to their advantage rather than maintaining it.

Hunt will probably have welcomed the international break as a chance to draw a line under his team’s stuttering start to the season and focus on making them sharper in attack – the Clever Boys have made plenty of chances, but struggled to put the ball in the back of the net.

They can no longer afford to be wasteful in front of goal if they are to give themselves a chance of playing in the final and defending the MTN8 crown they won in such style last year.

City’s victory in the first leg of this tie has brought their head-to-head record against the Clever Boys to a very favourable three wins and just one defeat from six meetings. They can even afford to lose this match and still progress, so long as they score at least once and don’t lose by more than a single-goal margin.

The aggregate winners will face either Maritzburg United or SuperSport United in the 2017 MTN8 final. The teams are locked at 1-1 ahead of their second leg clash in Pietermaritzburg on September 9.



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MTN8: CAPE TOWN CITY 1-0 BIDVEST WITS – As it happened – MTN8 2017


Lehlohonolo Majoro of Cape Town City takes on Slavko Damjanovic of Bidvest Wits during the 2017 MTN8 Semifinal 1st leg fixture between Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium on 27 August 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Sunday Aug 27, 2017. 17:24


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2017 MTN8 Cup semi-final first-leg match between Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits at the Cape Town Stadium in the Mother City, South Africa.

LINE UPS:

Cape Town City XI: Walters, Fielies, Johannes, Mkhize, Seedat, Putsche, Nodada, Masina, Patosi, Lakay, Majoro.

Bidvest Wits XI: Josephs, Frosler, Hlatshwayo, Damjanovic, Hlanti, Scott, Klate, Monare, Claasen, Mhango, Gamal.

COOMENTARY:

That’s all from the Cape Town Stadium. Wits will host City in the second-leg clash at the Bidvest Stadium in two weeks time. Please join us again next time. Cheers!

FULL-TIME! City 1-0 Wits.

95′ – GOOD SAVE! Wits attacker Kodisang forces City keeper Walters into a good save with a first time effort.

90′ – The fourth official has added six minutes.

88′ – Wits Caution: Hlatshwayo booked.

85′ – City striker Majoro is substituted after failing to score from close range with the Wits defence exposed.



84′ – City sub: Koapeng IN, Majoro OUT.

80′ – Wits midfielder Kodisang beats his marker and he fires wide of the target as the visitors press City.

78′ – Wits sub: Pule IN, Klate OUT.

75′ – Fifteen minutes left for Wits to grab a crucial away goal and they are doing most of the attacking.

74′ – City sub: Dove IN, Patosi OUT

70′ – City sub: Modise IN, Masina OUT.

65′ – Pressure is mounting on the City defence as Kodisang whips a great cross into the box and his Wits teammate Klate forces Walters into a good save with a decent header.

60′ – City Caution: Seedat is booked.

59′ – Wits sub: Kodisang IN, Monare OUT.

55′ – City launch a quick counter-attack and Patosi bursts into the Wits box, but Hlatshwayo does well to block his cross.

50′ – City forward Masina is stretchered off as Wits press for the equalizing goal.

46′ – Wits sub: Pienaar IN, Mhango OUT.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME! City 1-0 Wits.

45′ – The fourth official has added two minutes.

44′ – GOAL! City 1-0 Wits. Patosi fires home from close range.

40′ – Wits, who are attacking in numbers, are pressing City with the half-time break fast approaching.

35′ – Johannes, who is captaining City in the absence of Lebogang Manyama, has done a good job thus far containing Wits’ new signing Gamal.

30′ – It is still 0-0 here at the Cape Town Stadium as we reach the half-hour mark.

25′ – City winger Lakay plays a long ball for his teammate Majoro, who is ruled offside as the home side search for the opening goal.

20′ – GREAT SAVE! Klate whips a good cross into the City box and his Wits teammate Monare forces City keeper Walter into a great save at the near-post.

15′ – It remains goalless in a tightly contested opening exchanges in the midfield.

10′ – CHANCE! City forward Masina bursts into the Wits box, but he fails to make contact with a high ball and goalkeeper Josephs gathers the ball with ease.

5′ – City goalkeeper Walters is called into action as he gathers Wits full-back Frosler’s long throw.

1′ – The match is underway.



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City, Wits in second successive MTN8 semifinal – MTN8 2017


Enocent Mkhabela of Platinum Stars battles for the ball with Lebogang Manyama of Cape Town City FC during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Cape Town City FC and Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 23 August 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 25, 2017. 11:30


Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits will meet in the semifinals of the MTN8 for the second successive season, with their first leg clash set for Cape Town Stadium on 27 August 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

CTC booked their place in the last four with a narrow 1-0 win over Polokwane City. Sibusiso Mbonani scored an unfortunate own goal to leave Rise and Shine feeling they were unlucky to lose, but in truth Benni McCarthy’s debut win as a coach should have been secured with a greater margin, given the chances his side created.

By contrast, Wits had to fight back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw with Golden Arrows, before edging the KwaZulu-Natal team on post-match penalties. It was a fraught match for the defending champions, who had debutant Slavko Damjanovic sent off (one of six red cards dished out) but saw striker James Keene score two goals to become the tournament’s early leading marksman.

As mentioned above, City and Wits met in last season’s MTN8 semifinals – their only cup clashes to date. The Clever Boys claimed a 3-0 home win in the first leg (courtesy of goals from Eleazar Rodgers, Elias Pelembe and Frank Mhango) before playing out a goalless stalemate in the return to secure comfortable progression into the final.

Gavin Hunt’s side didn’t have things their own way in the teams’ league clashes, however, with City winning 3-2 in Johannesburg in the first half of the season, before the clubs played out a 1-1 draw in the return game in the ‘Mother City’. By the end of the campaign, Wits finished as champions, two places and five points clear of the Citizens.

The teams clashed again just last week, meeting at the Bidvest Stadium on the opening weekend of the new 2017/18 Absa Premiership season. City claimed a surprise 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Lehlohonolo Majoro, meaning that the teams’ five meetings across all competitions have produced two wins for the Cape side, one for Wits and two draws.



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Ten-man stars fight back for a point against Wits – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Katlego Mokhuoane of Free State Stars

by
Brian Lee

Wednesday Aug 23, 2017. 21:53


A ten-man Free State Stars scored in the final minute of the game to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw against Bidvest Wits in an Absa Premiership match at Goble Park on Wednesday night.

The draw sees both sides still without a win in the league after Wits lost their opening game to Cape Town City and Stars lost theirs to AmaZulu.

The defending league champions started well and scored the game’s first goal in the ninth minute when a cross-cum-shot from Kombamelo Kodisang on the right was turned into his own net by goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare, 1-0.

The Ea Lla Koto managed to fight back and levelled matter just after the half hour when Katlego Mokhuoane clinically turned the ball into the back of the net from ten-yards out after meeting a low cross from the left, 1-1.

Wits controlled the remainder of the half but failed to re-take the lead before the break.

The start of the second half produced very little in terms of decent goalmouth action.

The first real chance came in the 60th minute when Eleazar Rodgers met a corner-kick from Daylon Classen, but the Wits striker saw his header brilliantly saved.

Ten minutes later Free State received a massive blow when Thamsanqa Teyise received his second yellow card and was given his marching orders.

Wits made their one man advantage tell and took the lead in the 82nd minute when Reeve Frosler drove into the box, beating four defenders on his way, before calmly slotting home from 14-yards out, 2-1.

Reeve Frosler went from hero to zero seven minutes later when he brought Sibusiso Hlubi down inside the box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Siphelele Mthembu stepped up for Free State and duly levelled matters to rescue a point for his side, 2-2.

The point for both sides was their first of the league season.

Free State Stars (1) 2 (Mokhuoane 34’, Mthembu 89’ pen)

Bidvest Wits (1) 2 (Kodisang 9’, Frosler 82’)

Teams

Free State Stars: Sangare; Makhaula (Ndlovu 56’), Teyise, Mahamutsa, Jantjie (Maphakisa 87’), Masehe, Mokhouane, Mashego, Hlubi, Nono (Vilakazi 73’), Mthembu.

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Monare, Rodgers (Keene 79’), Hlanti, Claasen, Mhango, Kodisang, Frosler, Ntshangase (Pienaar 62’).



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Bidvest Wits open defence of Absa Premiership title – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Lebogang Manyama of Cape Town City FC evades challenge from Phumlani Ntshangase of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 19 April 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 10:30


Bidvest Wits will open the defence of their Absa Premiership title with a home match against Cape Town City at Bidvest Stadium on 18 August 2017, kick-off at 20h00.

Wits claimed their first-ever league title last season by ending three points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns at the top of the PSL log. It was a fourth championship for coach Gavin Hunt, who also claimed three successive titles at SuperSport United from 2008 to 2010. They also won the MTN8 to end the campaign with two major trophies.

The Clever Boys have not rested on their laurels in the offseason, strengthening their squad by signing the likes of former Bafana Bafana midfielders Steven Pienaar and Daylon Claasen, though they will still face a tough challenge in trying to defend their title.

One of those hoping to knock Wits off their perch is Cape Town City, who enjoyed a fantastic debut season in 2016/17 (after changing names and location from Mpumalanga Black Aces): the Citizens came home in third place and boasted the league’s Player of the Season and Golden Boot winner in Lebogang Manyama.

CTC also won the Telkom Knockout, but their season ended with the shock news that coach Eric Tinkler had decided to leave and take up the reins at SuperSport. In response, City appointed former Bafana Bafana star Benni McCarthy as their new coach, and how he fares in his first senior managerial role will be a fascinating narrative early in the new season.

Wits and City have met in just two previous league matches, both of which took place last season: in the first half of the campaign, CTC claimed a 3-2 win in Johannesburg thanks to a last-gasp goal from Manyama, while the return game in Cape Town ended 1-1. The Cape side was one of just two teams (the other being SuperSport) to hand the Clever Boys a home defeat in the league last term.



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Bidvest Wits book MTN8 Cup semi-final spot


Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits celebrates a goal during the MTN8 match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates on 27 August 2016 at Bidvest Stadium

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 11, 2017. 23:15


Bidvest Wits overcame Golden Arrows 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the 2017 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match at the Bidvest Stadium in on Friday night.

The win sees the defending champions Clever Boys progress into the semi-finals, while Abafana Bes’thende have been eliminated from the competition.

Abafana Bes’thende took a surprise lead just 11 minutes into the game as Lerato Lamola headed home Siphelele Magubane’s cross to make it 1-0 to Arrows.

The Clever Boys were then reduced to 10 men when debutant Slavko Damjanovic was showed a straight red card for a dangerous tackle in the 20th minute.

It was soon 2-0 to Arrows as Wayde Jooste set-up Mahachi, who made no mistake as he beat Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs in the 24th minute.

But James Keene managed to pull one back when he converted from the spot-kick two minutes later after Wits were awarded a penalty.

Arrows were also reduced to 10 men after Danny Phiri received his second yellow card just the before the half-time break. The score was 2-1 to Arrows at the interval.

The Clever Boys dominated the second-half and they managed to restore parity a minute after the hour-mark with the Abafana Bes’thende defence exposed.

A cross from Reeve Frosler found his teammate Keene, who then hit the back of the net from close range making it 2-2 – grabbing his brace in the process.

Second-half substitute Frank Gabadinho Mhango almost scored with his first touch in the 76th minute, but his header was blocked in the line.

Abafana Bes’thende stood firm in the dying minutes of the match and the encounter ended in a 2-2 draw in regulation time, and extra-time followed.

Arrows nearly grabbed a goal in extra-time when Nduduzo Sibiya unleashed a powerful low shot from range and Josephs brilliantly parried the ball away – keeping his side in the game.

The visitors then lost another man after Arrows defender Siyabonga Dube was given a straight red card. But nine-men Arrows contained Wits and ultimately, the match went into a penalty shootout.

However, Wits converted four penalties, while Arrows missed three and the former emerged 4-3 winners on penalties.

Wits (2) 2 (Keene 26′, 61′)

Arrows (1) 2 (Lamola 11′, Mahachi 24′)

Wits: Josephs, Frosler, Hlanti, Hlatshwayo, Damjanovic, Scott (Khumalo 22′), Monare, Claasen (Pienaar 84′), Pule (Mhango 75′), Pelembe, Keene.

Arrows: Gumede, Dube, Nonyane, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Phiri, Cele, Mahachi, Magubane (Sibiya 22′), Jooste (Bilankulu 46′), Lamola (Mutizwa 95′).



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MTN 8: Bidvest Wits 2-2 Golden Arrows – As It Happened


by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Aug 11, 2017. 22:54


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2017 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match between Bidvest Wits and Golden Arrows at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Lineups:

Bidvest Wits Xl: Josephs, Hlanti, Hlatswayo, Damjanovic, Frosler, Scott, Monare, Pelembe, Pule, Claasen, Keene.

Golden Arrows Xl: Gumede, Nonyane, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Dube, Phiri, Cele, Mahachi, Jooste, Magubane, Lamola.

Commentary:

Wits, who are the defending champions, advance to the MTN8 Cup semi-finals after winning 4-3 on penalties.

Wits: Hlatshwayo – SAVED, Mhango -SAVED, Pienaar – SCORES, Pelembe – SCORES, Keene – SCORES, Frosler – SCORES

Arrows: Sibiya – SCORES, Nonyane -MISSES, Mutizwa – SCORES, Cele -MiSSES, Mahachi – SCORES, Bilankulu – MISSES

A penalty shootout to follow.

EXTRA-TIME FULL-TIME: Wits 2-2 Arrows.

120′ – The fourth official has added two minutes.

115′ – Wits are dominating possessing as they look to unlock the Arrows defence.

110′ – RED CARD! Arrows defender Dube is red carded after he head-butted Wits forward Mhango.

106′ – The second-half of extra-time is underway.

Extra-time half-time: Wits 2-2 Arrows

105′ – Wits coach Gavin Hunt and Arrows coach Clinton Larsen are both sent to the stands by the match referee.

100′ – Nonyane whips a long back into the Wits box and Josephs comes out to gather the ball with ease.

91′ – The first-half of extra-time is underway.

Extra-Time to follow.

FULL-TIME: Wits 2-2 Arrows

90′ – Four minutes added by the fourth official.

85′ – The Clever Boys are doing most of the attacking in the closing stages as they search for a late winning goal.

84′ – Wits sub: Pienaar IN, Claasen OUT.

80′ – GOOD SAVE! Josephs makes a good low save to deny Nonyane at his near-post as Abafana Bes’thende looked to restore their lead.

75′ – Wits sub: Mhango IN, Pule OUT.

70′ – CHANCE! Pule’s cross finds his Wits captain Hlatshwayo at the far post and the latter heads wide.

65′ – Play is stopped as Nonyane is down injured after colliding with Gumede and Keene.

61′ – GOAL! Wits 2-2 Arrows. Keene finds the back of the net following a mistake by Arrows defender Nonyane.

60′ – GOOD BLOCK! Phiri’s attempt is blocked from close range following a good move by Clever Boys.

55′ – Pule’s curling effort from a free-kick outside the Arrows box is easily saved by Gumede.

50′ – Wits winger Pelembe forces Arrows keeper Gumede into a good save as the hosts look to level matters.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Wits 1-2 Arrows.

45 + 3′ RED CARD! Arrows midfielder Phiri receives his second yellow card and he’s sent off.

45′ – The fourth official has added five minutes.

40′ – Play has resumed and Wits are pressing Arrows as the half-time break approaches.

35′ – Play is stopped as Wits midfielder Claasen, who is also making his competitive debut for the Clever Boys, is down injured.

30′ – Arrows have taken a surprise lead as we reach the half-hour mark here in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

26′ – GOAL! Wits 1-2 Arrows. Keene beats Arrows keeper Gumede from the spot-kick.

26′ – PENALTY! Wits are awarded a penalty after Pule is fouled in the Arrows box.

25′ – GOAL! Wits 0-2 Arrows. Jooste sets up Mahachi, who hits the back of the net.

24′ – Arrows have been forced to make an early change as Magubane is substituted due to an injury.

22′ – Arrows sub: Sibiya IN, Magubane OUT

20′ – RED CARD! Wits defender Damjanovic receives a red card for a dangerous tackle on his competitive debut for the hosts.

15′ – Josephs produces a good save to deny Arrows full-back Dube as the visitors look to double their lead.

11′ – GOAL! Wits 0-1 Arrows. Lamola beats Wits keeper Josephs with a good header to hand Arrows the lead.

10′ – Arrows are looking to launch quick counter-attacks against Wits.

5′ – The hosts threaten first as Pule’s effort is deflected dangerously past the upright as Wits look for an early goal.

1′ – The match is underway.



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Abraw emerges at Bidvest Wits – ABSA Premiership 2017/18


Camaldine Abraw of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates a goal during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzbueg United on 06 February 2016 at FNB Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Thursday Aug 03, 2017. 10:00


Former Kaizer Chiefs forward Camaldine Abraw has popped up at Absa Premiership champions Bidvest Wits, as he goes in search of a new football home.

The Togo international’s contract was terminated by mutual consent in July, with the forward having struggled with injury in his time at Naturena.

Abraw, 26, has reportedly impressed in his time on trial at the Braamfontein-based club, with head coach Gavin Hunt eager to add to his striking options.

“He [Abraw] is doing okay, I don’t know if he will sign but he is doing okay,” Hunt told KickOff.com – holding his cards close to his chest.

TEBOHO MOLOI: WHY I LEFT CHIPPA UNITED

Bidvest Wits have already signed five players: Steven Pienaar, Daylon Claasen, Kobamelo Kodisang, Slavko Damjanovic and Bokang Thlone. The club to get their MTN8 title defence underway next week.



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Bidvest Wits and Lebogang Manyama shine at South Africa’s PSL awards


Lebogang Manyama of Cape Town City FC wins the Absa Premiership Top Goal Scorerer, Footballer of the Season and Absa Premiership Player’s Player of the Season during the 2016/17 PSL Awards at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg South Africa on 10 July 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Brian Lee

Tuesday Jul 11, 2017. 00:11


The 2016/17 Absa Premiership Champions, Bidvest Wits, and new comers Cape Town City were the big winners at the South African Premier Soccer League awards ceremony.

The PSL rewarded the top performers for the season at the Sandton Convention Centre in Gauteng on Monday night, July 10.

Both Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City picked up five accolades a piece with Lebogang Manyama the biggest individual winner on the night.

Manyama won three awards (including the Absa Premiership Top goal scorer, the Absa Premiership Players’ Player of the Season and the PSL Footballer of the Season) and picked up a total of R425 000 in prize money.

Below is a full list of the winners and the prize money that comes along with the accolade:

MTN8 Last Man Standing: Daine Klate (Bidvest Wits) – R80 000

Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament: Aubrey Ngoma (Cape Town City) – R200 000

Nedbank Cup Young Player of the Tournament: Nduduzo Sibiya (Golden Arrows) – R50 000

Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament: Abbubaker Mobara (Orlando Pirates) – R150 000

NFD Top goal scorer (winner): Sedwyn George (Royal Eagles – 20) – R50 000

MultiChoice Diski Challenge Top Goal Scorer: Tshegofatso Mabaso (Bloemfontein Celtic – 12)

MultiChoice Diski Challenge Player of the Tournament: Keletso Makgalwa (Mamelodi Sundowns) – R30 000

PSL Assistant Referee of the Season: Luvuyo Pupuma – R40 000

PSL Referee of the Season: Phelelani Ndaba – R50 000

Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season: Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits) – R50 000

Absa Premiership Young Player of the Season: Phakamani Mahlambi (Bidvest Wits) – R50 000

Absa Premiership Coach of the Season: Gavin Hunt (Bidvest Wits) – R75 000

Absa Premiership Top goal scorer: Lebogang Manyama (Cape Town City – 13) – R25 000

Absa Premiership Defender of the Season: Thulani Hlatshwayo (Bidvest Wits) – R50 000

Absa Premiership Midfielder of the Season: Aubrey Ngoma (Cape Town City) – R50 000

Absa Premiership Goal of the Season: Siphiwe Tshabalala (Chiefs vs SuperSport United, 29 April 2017) – R50 000

Absa Premiership Players’ Player of the Season: Lebogang Manyama (Cape Town City) – R150 000

PSL Footballer of the Season: Lebogang Manyama (Cape Town City) – R250 000



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