JOHANNESBURG: Buhle Mkhwanazi returned from an injury that kept him out of action for seven months to play a leading role for Wits in their march to the Telkom Knockout final on Saturday.
The lanky centre-back not only stopped Kaizer Chiefs from scoring but he also provided an assist, flicking the ball into the path of James Keene, who scored the goal that took the Clever Boys to their second Cup final in two seasons.
Mkhwanazi’s return brought a lot of relief for Gavin Hunt, with his team ravaged by injuries. The 27-year-old was the club’s unsung hero last season as Wits claimed a first league title in the club’s history.
Without him Wits’ defence was porous, unlike the solid unit they were last season. Mkhwanazi leads this edition’s Team of the Week. He is joined at the back by two other centre-backs who were solid this weekend, Siyabonga Ngezana and Wandisile Letlabika.
The young Ngezana (20) has slotted in well in the Chiefs defence, so much so that the club doesn’t miss Lorenzo Gordinho, who was one of their best players last season. Letlabika did a good job of nullifying the threat posed by Rodney Ramagalela and Rendani Ndou.
Jabu Maluleke leads the three-man midfield, while Siya Nhlapo and Aubrey Modiba operate as wing-backs.
The SuperSport United pair returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday confident of making history this Saturday after Matsatsantsa scored a vital away goal at Stade TP Mazembe in the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup final.
Team of the Week:
Goalkeeper: Patrick Tignyemb (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Defender: Siyabonga Ngezana (Kaizer Chiefs)
Defender: Buhle Mkhwanazi (Bidvest Wits)
Defender: Wandisile Letlabika (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Left Wingback: Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United)
Right Wingback: Siya Nhlapo (SuperSport United)
Central midfielder: Jabu Maluleke (Polokwane City)
Central midfielder: Xola Mlambo (Bidvest Wits)
Central midfielder: Kabelo Mahlasela (Bloemfontein Celtic)
Striker: Rodney Ramagalela (Polokwane City)
Striker: James Keene (Bidvest Wits)