Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
3 Oct 2014
10:21 pm

Wits storm into TKO quarterfinals

Jonty Mark

Bidvest Wits cruised into the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout this evening, with a 3-0 thumping of Moroka Swallows at Bidvest Stadium.

FILE PICTURE: Jabulani Shongwe of Wits celebrates his goal during the Telkom Knockout match between Bidvest Wits and Moroka Swallows at Bidvest Stadium on October 03, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

A fantastic first half effort from Jabulani Shongwe was followed up after the break by goals from Buhle Mkhwanazi and Vincent Pule as the Birds were simply overwhelmed.

Swallows coach Zeca Marques made a raft of changes from the 3-2 loss to Free State Stars on the weekend. Goalkeeper Greg Etafia and midfielders Sandile Sibande and Vladimir Mandic were not even in the squad, while left back Tsietsi Mahoa was benched. Sage Stephens got a start in goal, as did Giulio Giuricich at left back. Lerato Chabangu returned from injury but was only on the bench.

Gavin Hunt, on the other hand, made just two alterations to his side from the 2-0 win over AmaZulu. Sibusiso Vilakazi was surprisingly benched with Doutie coming in, while Kees Kwakman replaced the suspended Thulani Hlatshwayo in the heart of the Wits defence.

It was the Clever Boys who got off to the better start, knocking the ball around confidently on a chilly spring evening.

Doutie’s free kick found Sthembiso Ngcobo at the back post in the fifth minute, but he couldn’t connect properly with the header.

Pule then played a brilliant one-two with Sandile Zuke in the 10th minute, but as he advanced on Stephen’s goal, he inexplicably tried to cross instead of shoot, and couldn’t find a teammate.

A minute later Doutie’s corner was headed back across goal by Phumlani Ntshangase, but a stretching Mkhwanazi couldn’t turn the ball home.

Swallows threatened little, their best chance coming in the 25th minute, as Dikgang Mabalane’s free kick deflected wide off Ashraf Hendricks.

In the 34th minute, another Doutie free kick was flapped at by Stephens, but Pule turned his shot over the bar.

Pule, however, was heavily involved in Wits’ opener a couple of minutes later. He did brilliantly to win the ball back on the edge of the Swallows penalty area, and found Shongwe. The Wits midfielder did the rest superbly, curling a superb effort past Stephens and into the corner of the net.

Two minutes before half time, Shongwe tried to repeat the trick, but this time he curled over.

But it didn’t matter, as on the hour mark, Mkhwanazi powered in a header from Doutie’s corner to double Wits’ lead.

And it was game over six minutes later, Pule arriving at the back post to steer in a brilliant cross from Doutie.