Johannesburg – A frustrated Gavin Hunt bemoaned a wasteful opportunity for Wits against Orlando Pirates, after playing out to an exciting goalless draw in Johannesburg.
Spoilt for choice throughout the clash, Hunt and his men should have wrapped up a comfortable result against an equally attacking Pirates, intent on breaking into the top four of the Premiership, but failed in front of goal at crucial stages in the game.
“We had a huge chance to win the league this season, but it’s games like this where we haven’t taken advantage,” Hunt said after the game.
“I thought we should have won. We had so many chances.
“What more must I say? We just have to keep playing.”
A third successive goalless draw for Hunt and the Clever Boys did little to impress the former SuperSport United boss, who already has third place guaranteed this season.
But, with second-placed Kaizer Chiefs also slipping up against Free State Stars in a simultaneous fixture, Wits had a chance to move within two points of the Glamour Boys, which would have set up a tight race for second spot.
“Something has to turn for us. If you watched these last three games against SuperSport, Chiefs and Pirates… how we don’t win, I don’t know,” Hunt said.
“I told the players tonight that if we win, we can catch Chiefs’ because I knew they’d draw.”
Hunt resisted the temptation to give his squad a well-earned rest following a taxing campaign thus far, naming a full-strength side, with Sibusiso Vilakazi the only notable omission.
But the gamble backfired 24 minutes in, when Papy Faty was involved in a heavy collision in the middle of the park, sending the Burundi international straight to ground. He was substituted seconds later in what looked like a season-ending injury.
“He’ll be out for nine months… patella,” Hunt said, confirming a nasty-looking blow to the talented playmaker’s knee.
“I took a chance, I didn’t want to play Papy tonight but Murphy’s Law, something happened and that’s what happens in football.”
Two games remain for the top three this season, but Wits and Chiefs both have a Nedbank Cup semi-final to negotiate this weekend, with the pair going head-to-head at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With nothing left to play for in the Premiership, save for a push for second place, Hunt admitted his intentions to fight all the way for the last cup competition of the season.
“It’ll be very difficult to play the last two games if you’re not in the cup final. We have to just keep going and be professional about it.
“It’s tight now when you have to win. Chiefs will be dangerous, they’re a good side.
“They’ll have plenty of support, they’re well coached and we have a helluva game but we have nothing to lose. – Sapa