Johannesburg – Wits marched into the semi-finals of the MTN8 with a 4-3 win on penalties over Bloemfontein Celtic, as the sides ended goalless after extra time in their MTN8 match at Bidvest Stadium on Friday evening.
Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was the hero on the night after he saved two penalty kicks to guide his side to the last four of the knockout cup competition.
The stalemate was the official season opener for the 2014/2015
season. Throughout two hours of play, the match offered little goalmouth action.
Wits will play the winner of the encounter between Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.
Wits and Celtic entered the match with a tentative mindset with both teams failing to assert themselves in attack throughout.
The effects of the almost three-month break in the off season were evident as both sets of players appeared lethargic.
The Clever Boys, spearheaded by midfield linchpin Sibusiso Vilakazi, had the better of the attacking opportunities although there were not many.
The best chance of the first-half came when Vilakazi beat three challengers in the box and fed the ball into Ryan Chapman who punted the ball off target.
Wits new recruit signed from University of Pretoria, Buhle Mkhwanazi, was deployed in the central midfield role behind Vilakazi almost as a safety net.
Mkhwanazi's effectiveness came to the fore in the 23rd minute when he repelled a dangerous looking attack from Celtic captain Joel Mogorosi in the box.
Gabadinho Mhango, was the centrepiece of the attack for Celtics as they showed some flashes of brilliance on the left flank.
Mhango and the tricky Lyle Lakay provided the threat on the wings for Celtic, but the efforts were thwarted by the well-drilled defensive line of opposition coach Gavin Hunt. – Sapa