Zimbabwe international forward, Terrence Dzvukamanja, marked the restart of the South African Premiership with a double strike, in a losing cause, against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Dzvukamanja’s Bidvest Wits fell 2-3 to the Brazilians who will face Bloemfontein Celtic in the tournament show-piece, following their 3-0 thumping of Baroka FC, at the same venue earlier in the day.
Lyle Lakay found the back of the net, with virtually the final kick of the game, to give Sundowns victory after the Clever Boys had fought back to level matters on two occasions.
Ricardo Nascimento and Keletso Makgalwa gave Sundowns the lead but Dzvukamanja scored two superb goals to keep the Clever Boys in the game before Lakay’s moment of magic.
Sundowns opened the scoring in the 37th minute through Nascimento, who was on target from the spot, after Buhle Mkhwanazi was caught tugging Motjeka Madisha’s jersey inside the penalty area.
Bidvest Wits improved following the break and levelled matters in the 76th minute.
Dzvukamanja stripped Madisha of the ball in a dangerous area before keeping his cool and lobbing the ball past the onrushing Denis Onyango.
Sundowns regained their advantage five minutes later — albeit through fortunate circumstances — as Makgalwa pounced on an error from Brighton Mhlongo before passing the ball into an open net.
The Clever Boys, though, were not going down without a fight and levelled matters once more as Dzvukamanja turned past Madisha from a perfect Phathutshedzo Nange pass before sliding the ball home for his brace on the night.
But, having fought their way back into the game so valiantly, Wits were dumbed out of the competition with what proved to be the final kick of the encounter as Lakay curled a pin-point free-kick past Mhlongo and into the back of the net to send Sundowns into another cup final.
Bidvest coach, Gavin Hunt, was a dejected figure following his side’s Nedbank Cup exit, pinning the defeat on their series of misfortune.
“We’re very disappointed, I don’t know how much more can go wrong in our lives, I mean . . . We’re very disappointed, I don’t think we deserved that,” said Hunt.
“I think we deserved much more out of the game. I mean, the first goal — if that’s a penalty, I don’t know. The second goal, a huge mistakes; third goal, a foul — if it’s a foul, okay.
“But we got ourselves behind because of that and we came back well, I thought we did very, very well and we certainly didn’t deserve it, that’s for sure.
“But that’s football and that’s our life and story at the moment, in our lives as Bidvest Wits at the moment. So, ja, we’ll pick ourselves up and try and go again on Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, some fingers on social media were pointed towards former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Mhlongo, who made only his third appearance of the season due to the suspension and injury of regulars Ricardo Goss and Brandon Petersen respectively.
“Look, I’m not going to get into that debate. There was too bad, bad mistakes from my point of view for the second and third goals, but the first goal as well,” the coach added.
“But you’ve really got to just question some of the decisions, but that’s football and that’s the way our lives as Bidvest Wits is at the moment.
“I feel for the players, as I said, I don’t think we deserved it, I thought we were the better team, we had them where we wanted them and we didn’t take advantage of it.
“You can’t concede goals like that, certainly all three of them. But I’m not going to finger any blame here.”
Meanwhile, Kaitano Tembo’s SuperSport United have suffered a blow after one of their players tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their check-in to the PSL’s bio-bubble.
SuperSport conducted their final round of testing before reporting for the PSL’s biologically safe environment this weekend, and have confirmed an unnamed player has test positive.
The club were hoping to take 40 personnel into their Covid-19 compliant hotel in Johannesburg but have now had to leave one squad member behind.
The said player will now serve a mandatory 10-day quarantine before being re-tested, though it is not yet clear whether he will be eligible for resubmission into the bio-bubble.
“We would like to confirm one positive COVID-19 case from the second round of testing that was completed this week,” read a statement from the club.
“The player has currently been put into quarantine for 10 days and will be retested thereafter. A group of 40 personnel were tested (25 players and 15 staff members).
“The rest of the squad will resume training and will continue to follow all protocols before heading into the bubble for the completion of the 2019/2020 season.”
Matsatsantsa will re-start their 2019/20 campaign with a clash against Bloemfontein Celtic at Bidvest Stadium next Sunday — KickOff/SuperSport.