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Why Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City will advance in Caf inter-club competitions

21:04 EAT 19/02/2018
Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits challenged by Matthew Rusike of Cape Town City
The two South African sides are in control going into their return legs, but can they finish the job and advance to the next round?


The Citizens secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Swaziland side Young Buffaloes in the Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round first-leg match at the Somhlolo National Stadium two weeks ago.

Nana Akosah-Bempa scored the only goal of the match in the closing stages of that game as City marked their debut appearance in the continent's competition with victory in Lobamba.

The narrow victory has put the Citizens in the driving seat  with the winner on aggregate scheduled to face either Mozambican side Costa Do Sol or Botswana club Jwaneng Galaxy in the first round.

With the second-leg clash set to take place at the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday, City will be banking on home ground advantage.

The Citizens have tasted only four league defeats at home in the last 12 months. Benni McCarthy's side can be unplayable in the Mother City as they average a goal per match at home. They have also conceded only one goal in three league games at home this year.

Quality players such as Robyn Johannes, Ronald Putsche and Teko Modise, who won the 2016 Caf Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns, will be key to the Citizens' home victory over Buffaloes.

Climate conditions will also give City the edge over Buffaloes, who are also making their debut appearance in the competition. Buffaloes players are likely to struggle at a cold, wet and windy Athlone Stadium.

There's no doubt that City will prove too strong for Buffaloes, who will play their first competitive game outside Swaziland in a long time.


The Clever Boys brushed aside Pamplemousses of Mauritius 2-0 in the Caf Champions League preliminary round first-leg match at the Bidvest Stadium over a week ago, with Eleazar Rodgers and Kobamelo Kodisang scoring for the hosts.

The reigning PSL champions were too hot for the Pamplemousses in that game, and they should have actually won by 10-0 on that night.

So, Wednesday's second-leg clash at the Anjalay Stadium in Mapou, Mauritius, has become nothing more than a formality for Wits. 

Gavin Hunt decided to field his fringe players, who raised their hand in the first leg. The tem did not disappoint, even though, the Wits head coach was unhappy with his players' finishing on the night.

Pamplemousses, who are the Mauritian champions, were knocked out of the 2017 Caf Champions League by Zimbabwean giants Highlands. They were beaten in both legs, and this will boost Wits' confidence heading into the second-leg game.

The four-time PSL title winning coach has the luxury of recalling a raft of experienced players such as Sifiso Hlanti, Frank Mhango and Lehlohonolo Majoro, who inspired Wits to a 2-1 win over Lamontville Golden Arrows in a league game in Durban over the weekend.

Wits' strength in depth and African experience means they have the edge over Pamplemousses, who are expected to struggle against the South African giants once again.

Furthermore, the Clever Boys are a free-scoring team on the road having scored eight goals in their last four away league games and they are destined to score in Mauritius and go on to secure another victory.

The winner on aggregate between the two teams will face either Angolan side 1º de Agosto or Zimbabwean club FC Platinum in the first round.