JOHANNESBURG - Bidvest Wits needed the new students to break their hoodoo over Free State Stars as they guided them to a comfortable 3-0 win in their opener.
Paul Johnstone, who was sitting for Wits head coach, Gavin Hunt gave Deon Hotto, Mxolisi Macuphu, Terrence Dzvukamanja Robyn Johannes, and Gift Motupa their first Clever Boys’ starting berths. And the boys were quick to deliver for Johnston.
Winger Dzvukamanja signalled his presence in the Clever Boys’ camp with a delivery that found skipper, Thulani Hlatshwayo, for him to head-home from close. Hlatshwayo was of course exceptional for the home side at right-back as his centre-back slot seems to be covered by Johannes.
It was not long before the newbies combined: Hotto whipped in a cheeky-setpiece that found an unmark Machupu who cleverly back-flicked past Sangare Ali. It might be too early to tell but Hunt seems to have found the suitable replacement for Xola Mlambo in Dzvukamanja after the former left the club two seasons and went on to be a playmaker at Orlando Pirates.
Dzvukamanja linked the heart of the midfield together with strikers upfront with ease. Like most Zimbabweans, he’s quick off his, his feet and his skilful as well hence it was tough for Stars to play.
A new combo between Thabang Monare and Alexander Cole seems to under construction as they could easily complement each other and as such that kept striker Eleazer Rodgers at bay for the better part of the game. Ea Lla Koto had a couple of chances upfront in the second half but their attempts did little to trouble Darren Keet.
And for their missed chances, the new students punished them once more. In a reversal mode this time around, Macuphu made a breakthrough passes that found Hotto to chip past Ali.