Soccer

Wits start singing their redemption song with win over Free State Stars

05 August 2018 - 00:00 By GOMOLEMO MOTSHWANE

Bidvest Wits' new boys orchestrated a dominant 3-0 victory over Free State Stars at Bidvest Stadium yesterday to start their campaign in emphatic fashion.
The former league champions signalled their intention for the season with a new-look team with five debutants.
New signings Robyn Johannes, Deon Hotto, Gift Motupa, Mxolisi Macuphu and Terrence Dzvukamanja added a dimension.
Skipper Tyson Hlatshwayo grabbed the opening goal in the 10th minute after latching onto a loose ball inside the penalty box.Mxolisi Macuphu doubled the lead with a debut goal after he flicked a header into the net from a Deon Hotto free-kick in the 31st minute.
The third was hammered home by Hotto as he beat the offside trap to slide the ball past goalkeeper Badri Ali Sangare in the 76th minute.
The Students battled relegation for an extended period last season before eventually finishing a disappointing 13th.
The fans at Milpark did not have to wait long for the opening strike as Hlatshwayo used his sheer strength to beat the defenders around him and tap in from close range.
The unfamiliar way Wits lined up for the game caught their opponents unaware as it was a complete change from the team that played in May.
Stars on the other hand still need to work on their formation since signing Eleazar Rodgers, who played as the target man.
Coach Gavin Hunt watched the game from the stands due to his suspension from last season with his lieutenants Paul Johnstone and Dillon Sheppard on the bench.
Goodman Dlamini tried to provide the spark for Ea Lla Koto but he found himself not on the same page with his teammates.
Dlamini came closest to scoring in the first half when his curler hit the upright in the 24th minute.Stars' evergreen captain Paulus Masehe had his hands full in midfield as he battled young Thabang Monare, who had a slight edge over the veteran.
So frustrated was Stars coach Luc Eymael with his team that at half-time he instructed his players to huddle to discuss their performance before heading into the dressing room.
But in the second half little changed as the university outfit continued to dominate and Stars offered little resistance.
In the end it was a convincing victory for Wits and the perfect way to start the season in which they are looking for redemption.
Bidvest Wits(2) 3
Free State Stars(0) 0
GOALS: Hlatshwayo (10th min), Macuphu (31st min), Hotto (76th min)

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