JOHANNESBURG, September 10 – Cape Town City booked their place in the final of the MTN 8 tournament, as they beat Bidvest Wits 2-1 in their second leg semi-final played on a bumpy Bidvest Stadium pitch in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon.
The Cape Town side will play SuperSport United in the final with the victors set to pocket the R8 million winner-take-all top prize.
City went into the match with a 1-0 advantage courtesy of left wing Ayanda Patosi’s goal scored in the first leg semi-final played in Cape Town a fortnight ago, but it took the hosts just 12 minutes to level the aggregate score-line.
After some neat build up work on the left-hand side of midfield, a cross found Wits skipper Thulani Hlatshwayo, with City skipper Robyn Johannes being unfortunate to deflect the ball home past his goalkeeper Shuaib Walters.
Fifteen minutes later, the own goal fear struck at the other end of the park, when Wits’ Egyptian international striker Amr Gamal rose high to head away a City free kick taken by Patosi, but ended up sending a glancing header past his own goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, to give the visitors the advantage yet again.
In the 29th minute, Wits’ Montenegrin left-sided defender Slavko Damjanovic had the ball the back of the City net, but the goal was deemed to be offside. City central defender Taariq Fielies was lucky to get the benefit of the doubt in the 35th minute, when a shot from Helder Pelembe struck the Capetonian on the hand inside the penalty area, but no spot kick was given by the referee.
Johannes was again in the thick of things five minutes before the break, when he was forced to clear Gamal’s goal-bound effort off of the City goal-line. Wits’ veteran midfielder Stephen Pienaar was the only player to be booked in the first half, after protesting a decision made by the match official, Victor Gomes.
Lehlohonolo Majoro scored the clincher in the 71st minute when he managed to turn Hlatshwayo in the penalty area and used his left foot to score past Walters.
Hlatshwayo, went into the referee’s book early in the second half when challenging for a header with City’s Roland Putsche, which saw the visiting player forced to be carried from the field suffering from concussion. Patosi also received a yellow card caution for an over-robust challenge on Pienaar.
This was Wits’ third defeat of the season to the Cape Town side, but luck was also not with them as they hit the City goalpost on no fewer than three occasions.
The teams will change their focus to league matters for Wednesday action, when Wits host Golden Arrows and Cape Town City are home to Kaizer Chiefs.