Hunt bemoans poor penalties by senior players after Wits' Champions League exit

18 March 2018 - 15:32 By Sazi Hadebe
Gavin Hunt coach of Bidvest Wits during the CAF Champions League match Bidvest Wits and Club Desportivo de Agosto on 17 March 2018 at Bidvest Stadium.
Gavin Hunt coach of Bidvest Wits during the CAF Champions League match Bidvest Wits and Club Desportivo de Agosto on 17 March 2018 at Bidvest Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt pointed to his team's lack of fire power in front of goal as the main reason for their first round elimination in the CAF Champions League.

Wits failed to progress to the group phase of Africa's premier competition on Saturday when they lost on penalties to Angolan champions Premeiro de Agosto at Bidvest Stadium.

Last year Wits were also knocked out at the same stage of this competition by Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

"We're very‚ very disappointed‚" said Hunt.

The game went to penalties after Elias Pelembe scored a delightful goal to cancel out Premeiro's lone strike that had won them the first leg 1-0 in Luanda.

"I thought over two legs we played exactly the same way.

"But we need to get some players (strikers) if we want to improve.

"We simply don't have it.

"We had great opportunities but obviously you've got to have a little bit of quality in the final third and we didn't have."

With Eleazer Rodgers injured and newly signed Thobani Mncwango not yet fully fit to start the match‚ Wits looked thin up front with lone striker Lehlohonolo Majoro.

Hunt's team couldn't improve their attacking momentum even when Mncwango‚ who he blamed for missing some sitters in the first leg‚ entered the fray for Sifiso Myeni at the start of the second half.

"We only had one striker (Majoro) available today‚ it's a problem‚" said Hunt.

The Wits coach acknowledged Pelembe's contribution and the goal he scored to put them back in the match.

But he was left disappointed with the way the Mozambican international Pelembe‚ Majoro and Daine Klate - the veterans of the team - missed their penalties to end up losing 3-2 on penalties to Premeiro.

"You don't expect the players of that quality and experience to do what they did. You can't miss penalties like that.

"But I did tell them that Premeiro's goalkeeper would save one or two because he is very good penalty saver."

Having now dropped to the CAF Confederation's last 32 after their loss to Premeiro‚ Hunt said he would have to hear from the club about their ambition in the less prestigious of Africa's club competitions.

"I don't know with the club‚" said Hunt of the Confed Cup.

"Obviously I will have to go with the mandate of the club. Whatever the club wants to do‚ I will do it."


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