Pamplemousses 1-0 Bidvest Wits (1-2 agg): Students advance to Caf Champions League first round despite defeat
The Students progressed to the next round of the 2018 Caf Champions League despite suffering a narrow defeat to the Mauritian champions

Pamplemousses overcame Bidvest Wits 1-0 in the second leg of 2018 Caf Champions League preliminary rounds match which was played at the Anjalay Stadium in Belle Vue on Wednesday afternoon.

However, the Clever Boys advanced to the next round of Africa's prestigious tournament on a 2-1 on aggregate win, while Pamplemousses bowed out of the competition.

The Clever Boys went into the second leg encounter holding a 2-0 lead having brushed aside the Mauritian champions in the first-leg match which was played in Johannesburg two weeks ago.

Gavin Hunt made only three changes to the team that did the job in the first leg encounter. Keegan Ritchie, who was sent off in the previous meeting between the two teams, was replaced by Buhle Mkhwanazi in defence.

Thulani Hlatshwayo and Thabang Monare both started for the reigning PSL champions.

Monare shrugged off the injury which he picked up during Wits' 2-1 win over Lamontville Golden Arrows last weekend to make the starting line-up.

Pamplemousses got off to the best possible start as they took the lead just a minute into the match.

Mauritius international Kevin Perticots was the man who beat Wits' third-choice goalkeeper Kyle Peters to make it 1-0 to the hosts. 

Hunt's decision to rest first-choice keeper Darren Keet and play the inexperienced goalkeeper nearly backfired as another goal would have turned the tie on its head.

Some would have expected Hunt to hand Moeneeb Josephs a start, but the veteran shot-stopper was again left on the bench.

The Clever Boys, who have conceded 11 goals in 10 domestic league matches on the road at an average of 1.10 per game this season, managed to contain Pamplemousses until match referee Nelson Fred of Seychelles blew his whistle for half-time.

The South African champions were aware that in order for them to progress to the next phase they needed to be solid at the back and they did well to soak up the pressure in the second period.

Wits captain Hlatshwayo marshalled his backline well, while Granwald Scott, who captained the Johannesburg-based side in the first leg clash, worked tirelessly just in front of the visitors' defence.

Scott was soon joined by hard-tackling Ghanaian holding midfielder Edwin Gyimah in the middle of the park as the visitors looked to shut the back door in the closing stages of the game.

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The hosts were unable to grab the all-important goal which would have sent the game straight to penalty shoot-out.

Ultimately, Pamplemousses ran out 1-0 winners on the day, but it was Wits who advanced to the next round after winning the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

The Clever Boys will take on Angolan champions, 1º de Agosto, who beat Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League (ZPSL) champions FC Platinum 5-1 on aggregate. 

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