Moeneeb Josephs made a brilliant save against Smouha, but it was in vain as Wits went down on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

ALEXANDRIA – Bidvest Wits’ CAF Confederation Cup campaign ended at the Borg el-Arab Stadium on Saturday evening after a 1-0 loss to Smouha.

The result condemned them to a 1-0 aggregate defeat over the two legs following a 0-0 draw in Johannesburg last weekend.

It was always going to be tough for the PSL club after failing to score at home against the Egyptian side last weekend, and in the end, a 33rd-minute penalty was all that separated the sides over 180 minutes.

Apart from an early chance for Smouha which was fired over the bar, the Clever Boys were to enjoy the upper-hand during the opening stages of Saturday’s game.

Indeed it was looking more as if Wits were the home team until disaster struck on the half-hour mark, when the ball struck Ben Motshwari around the shoulder area and a penalty was given.

Egyptian international Ahmed Mekky made no mistake as he sent Moeneeb Josephs the wrong way to put the hosts ahead on 33 minutes.

It then took a brilliant save from Josephs from a long-range strike to ensure the Students didn’t go further behind before halftime.

Gavin Hunt’s side started the second half with purpose, knowing an equaliser would see them through the tie on the away goals rule.

However, with the exception of a Siboniso Gaxa effort from range on the hour mark which was well saved, Wits struggled to find the cutting edge upfront needed to break down the stubborn Smouha defence.

The home side were able to play out the final 20 minutes without much threat to their lead to book their place in the group stage.

The Students, who had initially begun their African campaign in the Champions League, can now put 100 percent of their focus into challenging for the league title in South Africa.

African News Agency (ANA)