JOHANNESBURG - Bidvest Wits have it all to do in the second leg of their CAF Champions League group stage play-off tie against Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto having suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat away on Wednesday night as Geraldo scored the winner for the hosts.
The game had been on edge for the South African reigning champions from the first whistle, constantly being put under pressure, with goalkeeper Kyle Peters busy throughout the encounter.
Wits settled into a fast paced game and had to keep up with de Agosto, who were determined to use their home ground advantage ahead of travelling to Johannesburg in less than two weeks’ time for the return leg at the Bidvest Stadium.
Peters even had to receive some medical attention early on, such was the aggression and the bombardment he was under from the hosts.
He was protected by captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Sifiso Hlanti and Reeve Frosler as part of a formidable back four.
But it was breached in the 78th minute when midfielder Geraldo managed to get the ball over a slilding Peters, forcing the Clever Boys to return home needing to score twice without the outfit from Angola replying to progress to the group stages of the Champions League for the first time.
Wits didn’t have a lot of chances and their strikers Eleazer Rodgers and Thobani Mcncwango huffed and puffed without breaking the opposition defence.
Even when coach Gavin Hunt threw the gauntlet and pulled off rightback Frosler and sent in winger Sifiso Myeni, changin the set-up in defence, the Clever Boys still couldn’t break the deadlock, conceeding instead.
Wits have been struggling in domestic football this season and are perhaps hoping to salvage their season by reaching the group phase of the continent’s premium club competition. They will host de Agosto in 10 days’ time in Johannesburg, desperate to turn the result around.
Wits were denied a chance to make the group stages by eight-time champions Al Ahly last year.