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Defending champions showed heart

Defending champions Bidvest Wits showed great heart to come back from two goals down to advance to the semi-finals beating Golden Arrows on penalties after an action-packed match MTN 8 quarter final.

The encounter was heavily marred by some questionable officiating in a match that saw three players and three technical team members dismissed.  The first real chance fell to Thulani Hlatshwayo who rose well, his header was scrambled off the line.  Moments later Lerato Lamola opened the scoring for the visitors against the run of play with a header at the back post.

Debutant Slavko Damjanovic added to the hosts woes when he picked up a red card for a high foot on Magubane in the 22nd minute.  Abafana Bes’thende made their advantage count minutes later when Mahachi slotted home from what looked to be an offside position, a pin-point ball from Wayde Jooste picking him out.

Gavin Hunt’s men bounced back quickly with Vincent Pule drawing a challenge from Mngwengwe in the area. James Keene stepped up and cooly slotted home from the penalty spot to put Bidvest Wits back in contention. The sides were both down to 10 men shortly before the break as Phiri picked up a second yellow card.

The second half resumed with The Clever Boys applying pressure on Arrows but the visitors remained resolute at the back and kept the chances down to a minimum.  Reeve Frosler, who looked lively all evening was alert to a poor back pass from Nonyane and intercepted the pass, playing in Keene who converted for his second in the 62nd minute. With regulation time drawing to a close and the visitors looking on their last legs, Frosler managed to scramble the ball across the line but the officials ruled that he had fouled Gumede despite the keeper not having control of the ball.

Referee Tinyani then, upon the request of Victor Hlungwani, sent Gavin Hunt, Clinton Larson and Mandla Ncikazi off the park for dissent. > The fiery atmosphere finally told when Dube, who was fouled by Mhango, lost his cool and head-butted the forward. His brash actions led to a straight red card.

Extra time could not decide a winner and the tie headed to penalties where Bidvest Wits won out 4-3 on penalties despite Bidvest Wits missing their first two spot-kicks.

2(4p) - 2(3p)
Bidvest Stadium2017/08/1120:00 PM