Wits KO Free State in six goal thriller

Two goals in extra time saw Bidvest Wits beat Free State Stars 4-2 in a Telkom Knockout, Last 16 match at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday night.

The encounter ended 2-2 after 90 minutes and it took goals from Amr Gamal and James Keene to hand the Clever Boys a spot in the quarterfinals of the knockout competition.

The home side started the better of the two teams, but only made their dominance count in the 20th minute when Bongani Khumalo headed home a Gerald Phiri cross to give Wits the lead, 1-0.

The Clever Boys’ joy, though, was short-lived when Thabo Maphakisa equalised for Stars four minutes later after clinical strike from the edge of the box, 1-1.

Wits controlled the remainder of the half and were afforded a chance to take the lead a minute before the break when they were awarded a spot-kick.

Amr Gamal stepped up for the home side and dully converted from the penalty-spot to make it 2-1 ti Wits at the break.

The second half saw Stars applying all the pressure and they were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty of their own in the 77th minute which was converted by Siphelele Mthembu to draw the match level for the second time, 2-2.

Both sides pushed players forward in the final ten minutes of regular time, but neither could find the back of the net which meant we would have another 30 minutes of play.

Wits dominated extra time and took the lead for the third time five minutes into the first half of extra time when Amr Gamal found the back of the net for the second time, 3-2.

The victory was sealed for Wits in the 26th minute of extra time when substitute James Keene cleverly lobbed the keeper in a one-on-one situation, 4-2.

Bidvest Wits (2) 4 (Khumalo 20’, Gamal 44’ pen + 95’, Keene 116’)

Free State Stars (1) 2 (Maphakisa 24’, Mthembu 77’ pen)


Wits: 1. Keet, 2. Allie, 4. Khumalo, 6. Scott, 7. Klate, 10. Gamal (20. Pienaar 101’), 11. Pelembe, 13. Hlanti, 19. Mlambo (30. Motshwari 70’), 21. Phiri (28. Keene 59’), 33. Frosler.

Stars: 23. Sangare, 19. Mbhele, 22. Keita, 28. Mahamutsa, 20. Mashego (9. Nono 99’), 5. Masehe, 26. Dlamini (17 Hlubi 68’), 21. Phungwayo, 13. Maphakisa (15. Mokhuoane 82’), 21. Mthembu, 11. Jantjie.