Bidvest Wits were recently on the wrong end of a slender defeat against Angolan champions C.D. Primeiro de Agosto.
The defeat came as minor blow to Wits’ chances of progressing on the continent, but ahead of the return leg in Johannesburg, Goal looks at just what the Students need to do to turn the tie in their favour ahead of the Caf Champions League second leg encounter.
After missing out on a group stage berth last season after being knocked out by Egypt’s Al Ahly, the Clever Boys mentor will be desperate to do away with the notion that he doesn’t take African football seriously.
Gavin Hunt has no better chance to not only progress into the next round of the tournament but salvage something out of what has been a less than impressive campaign. But again, it won’t be easy for Wits especially against an outfit who have proven to be worthy opponents.
However, ahead of the first leg Wits would have known that they are not the best of travellers, considering that were also on the losing end against Pamplemousse of Mauritius in the previous round.
This though gives Wits a golden opportunity at progressing as they have shown this season that they are a completely different beast at home. Wits have lost just one of their last five games played at the Bidvest Stadium which could motivate the defending PSL champions to go in search of a positive result.
Hunt has already shown that he is taking nothing for granted in this year’s competition opting for a starting XI with an impressive blend of youth and experience during the first leg. What Hunt did do well in Angola was name an attacking line-up and if he hopes to get the victory, he will have replicate that same game plan.
Lehlohonolo Majoro has been an influential component of Wits’ attack since joining the Braamfontein outfit, scoring four league goals, and he will almost certainly have a big role to play against Agosto. It’s also important to note that in Angola, Agosto showed that they are a physical outfit who look to utilise set pieces to their advantage. This could mean that Hunt will again need to field both Buhle Mkhwanazi and Thulani Hlatshwayo at the back as he looks to avoid conceding an away goal.
But while defensively they will need to be sound, due to the Angolans’ advantage Wits will be resigned to going on the attack from the off. Hunt will almost certainly hope that his side can claim an early equaliser which will calm the nerves. This pressure may tempt the technical team to give some of Wits’ more senior players a run.
As the saying goes, it is still very much all to play for, and although Wits may be slightly disadvantaged, they are by no means out of the game. All it takes is a single goal to change the complexion of the tie which surely will encourage Wits, after all Wits should see this as an ideal springboard as they look to make a name for themselves on the African continent.