Johannesburg – It was 10 minutes of madness which sent Bidvest Wits tumbling to a stunning 4-2 defeat against Platinum Stars in Rustenburg on Sunday, said the university side's coach Gavin Hunt.
The four-goal deluge, midway through the second half of the first-leg MTN8 semifinal, happened so quickly it left Wits clinging to only an outside chance of making it through to the final of the winner-takes-all R8-million tournament.
In point of fact, Stars' four-goal burst, which started in the 55th minute after Wits had opened the score early in the second half, materialised in 18 minutes and not 10, but one way or another, it left the Wits coach bewildered and bemused.
“I simply could not fathom it,” said Hunt. “Everything was going according to plan for this away tie and we had scored the all-important goal before the second home leg.
“Then we started handing Stars presents by giving them the ball, with misplaced passes in the vicinity of the penalty area, as though it had gone out of fashion. It was sheer madness.
“As for the rest of the match, I think we had sufficient chances to have finished as winners.”
A late strike from Getaneh Kebede reduced Wits' deficit to two goals, and Hunt believed Wits remained “very much” in the running for a final berth.
“For one, we'll have a substantially different line-up for the second leg in about a month's time and, with home-ground advantage I remain confident.”
But, in the battle of words between the respective new coaches, Stars' Allan Freeze admitted his team's sudden scoring spree surprised everyone.
“However, we were always the more composed and co-ordinated team throughout the 90 minutes and I don't see why this should change in the second leg – no matter what line-up Wits put on the park.” – Sapa