The bitter rivalry between Wits and AmaTuks ended in an eventful 1-1 draw at the Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday evening
Wits looked to have started the match positively. They did well in retaining ball possession and confidently swayed the ball around from left to right. They nearly got the opening goal when Thulani Hlatshwayo’s header at the far post went narrowly wide from a Sibusiso Vilakazi set piece.
However, it was AmaTuks who found the opening goal as early as in the fourth minute through Malawian attacker Atusaye Nyondo. The visitors caught Wits flat footed at the back when Geoffrey Massa speedily broke down the left side before delivering an exquisite ball across the face of goal which passed three defenders, until Nyondo calmly tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Two minutes later winger Vuyisile Ntombayithethi tried his luck with a speculative long range shot but did not trouble the Wits goalkeeper.
At the other end, former Platinum Stars attacker Henrico Botes nearly punished Tuks after some miscommunication between Tebogo Monyai and Siyabonga Shoyisa. The 2013/14 PSL Player of the Year, Vilakazi thought he leveled matters when his dangerous looping ball from 40 yards out into the six yard area almost crept in. His effort was superbly tipped over by Washington Arubi.
Gavin Hunt’s men did a sterling job to marshal the middle of the park, but lacked distribution finesse in the final third. Meanwhile a well-disciplined AmaTuks side kept things compact as they observed Wits play. They were however more dangerous when they had the ball in the final third.
Before the stroke of half time Tuks should have made it 2-0 following yet another attack down the left side. This time Nyondo setup Massa, but the Ugandan missed the heading opportunity.
In the second period Hunt’s men continued to apply the pressure and controlled the tempo of the game. They introduced former Ajax youngster Toriq Losper who brought another dimension to the game. Losper immediately made an impact with long range efforts and long balls into the 18 yard area.
Christopher Katongo should have gotten the equalizer for Wits when shot-stopper Arubi failed to deal with a Losper long ball, Katongo miscued a golden opportunity.
In the 57th minute the home side finally found the back of the net, with an easy tap-in by Botes following a beauty of a strike by Katongo. The home side were like a house on fire in the final half hour of the encounter and should have sealed the winner through Katongo.
The Zambian international miskicked another golden opportunity and this time from within three yards to yet another open net. Vilakazi delivered the initial free kick into the area where Hlatshwayo’s headed effort hit the woodwork, before Katongo failed to find the back of the net.