Goalkeeper Ricardo Goss the hero as Wits beat Leopards to advance to Cup quarterfinals
Goalkeeper Ricardo Goss saved two penalties in the shoot-out as Bidvest Wits advanced to the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup with a 3-2 victory over Black Leopards after the sides had played to a 1-1 draw at a packed Thohoyandou Stadium.
Goss‚ in the side for the rested Darren Keet‚ kept out efforts from Marks Munyai and Karabo Tshepe‚ before Lesedi Kapinga blasted his spot-kick over the bar to seal Leopards’ fate.
The match was re-arranged from last Wednesday after it was abandoned just before halftime due to torrential rain‚ with Leopards leading 1-0 at that point‚ Kapinga theirt goal-scorer.
Gift Motupa had put Wits ahead in the first half on Monday‚ before Mwape Musonda equalised for Leopards with his 10th goal of the campaign in all competitions.
Leopards now go into Thursday night’s quarterfinal draw along with the two National First Division sides‚ Cape Umoya United and TS Galaxy‚ as well as Cape Town City‚ Lamontville Golden Arrows‚ Kaizer Chiefs‚ Chippa United and Bloemfontein Celtic.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt handed midfielder Granwald Scott a first appearance since May last year as he made a successful return from a serious knee injury‚ boosting The Clever Boys’ in the centre of the park for the remainder of the season.
Leopards recalled midfielder Munyai‚ who was briefly sidelined after he signed a pre-contract with Highlands Park‚ but now looks to be back in favour as he played a first game in a month for Lidoda Duvha.
There was little to enthuse over in the opening half-hour‚ with Wits hitting the front on 35 minutes.
A low cross from the right had Simon Murray and Motupa queuing up to score‚ and it was the latter who provided a neat side-footed finish from 10 yards to continue his rich run of scoring form.
The 24-year-old‚ who played previously for Leopards’ Limpopo rivals Baroka FC‚ has now netted four goals in five games for Wits‚ providing a welcome boost of form for Hunt in front of goals.
Murray had two excellent chances to extend the Wits’ lead when he put a header wide of goal and then shot off-target too.
Leopards were battling to create clear-cut chances‚ but saw plenty of the ball and found their equalizer 11 minutes from time.
A long cross to the back post found an unmarked Musonda and he put his header on target from a narrow angle‚ beating Ricardo Goss in the Wits goal.
The match went to extra-time as the pace slowed‚ but Musona had an excellent chance to win game when he was brilliantly played in behind the Wits defence‚ but with just Goss to beat‚ put his shot wide.