Eleazar Rodgers (9) celebrates with his Bidvest Wits teammates after scoring against Pamplemousses in the first leg. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

BELLE VUE HAREL, Mauritius – Bidvest Wits held on doggedly in Mauritius on Wednesday afternoon to record a 2-1 aggregate victory over Pamplemousses and book their place in the 2018 CAF Champions League first round.

This after Kobamelo Kodisang and Eleazar Rodgers had fired the South Africans to a 2-0 first leg win two weeks ago, before they lost 1-0 in the second leg match at the Stade Anjalay in Belle Vue Harel on Wednesday.

The Students, fielding a strong lineup despite several changes to the side which Gavin Hunt has been using in the league, started badly when they conceded in the first couple of minutes when Kevin Perticots netted for the hosts.

But they held on in dogged fashion, surviving a big scare late on when Pamplemousses hit the bar, to secure their place in the competition proper for the second year running.

The Clever Boys will now join PSL rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in the first round, the 2016 Champions having been given a bye in the preliminary phase.

The two-legged first round matches are scheduled for 6,7, 16 and 17 March. Wits are likely to square up with Angolan champions 1º de Agosto after they beat another Southern African side, FC Platinum of Zimbabwe, in the first leg; either way it's an easier proposition to the team which knocked the Johannesburg side out last year, eight-time Champions League winners Al Ahly.

Sundowns will face a longer trip across the continent to take on either Rayon Sports of Rwanda or Burundi outfit LLB Academic FC. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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