Third time lucky for Wits against City?

Third time lucky for Wits against City?
Lyle Lakay of Cape Town City flicks the ball past Sifiso Hlanti of Bidvest Wits during the 2017 MTN8 Semifinal 1st leg fixture between Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits at Cape Town Stadium on 27 August 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 07, 2017. 12:30

Bidvest Wits will hope it is a case of ‘third time lucky’ when they host Cape Town City for the second leg of their MTN8 semifinal, set for Bidvest Stadium on 10 September 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

Wits have already suffered two defeats at the hands of City so far this season, with a 1-0 home loss on the opening weekend of the Absa Premiership followed by a defeat of the same margin in Cape Town in the teams’ semifinal, first leg clash in late August.

Benni McCarthy seems to have the wood over his former mentor Gavin Hunt, but this tie is only at the halfway point and the veteran coach will fancy his chances of masterminding a comeback against his rookie counterpart.

Ayanda Patosi’s goal separates the teams heading into his decisive clash. While the Citizens know that a clean sheet will secure progression, it is against McCarthy’s instincts to defend a lead and he will no doubt set out his side with the intention of adding to their advantage rather than maintaining it.

Hunt will probably have welcomed the international break as a chance to draw a line under his team’s stuttering start to the season and focus on making them sharper in attack - the Clever Boys have made plenty of chances, but struggled to put the ball in the back of the net.

They can no longer afford to be wasteful in front of goal if they are to give themselves a chance of playing in the final and defending the MTN8 crown they won in such style last year.

City’s victory in the first leg of this tie has brought their head-to-head record against the Clever Boys to a very favourable three wins and just one defeat from six meetings. They can even afford to lose this match and still progress, so long as they score at least once and don’t lose by more than a single-goal margin.

The aggregate winners will face either Maritzburg United or SuperSport United in the 2017 MTN8 final. The teams are locked at 1-1 ahead of their second leg clash in Pietermaritzburg on September 9.

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