Thabang Morene of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Baroka and Bidvest Wits at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 22 October 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Friday Oct 27, 2017. 09:26
For the third successive year, Bidvest Wits and Free State Stars will meet in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout. This year they will cross swords at the Bidvest Stadium on 28 October 2017, kick-off at 20h15.
Wits and Stars have been regular cup combatants in recent years and their overall head-to-head in knockout competitions sits at eight matches, with each side claiming three outrights wins (plus a further one each via a penalty shootout).
This will be the teams’ fourth match in the Telkom Knockout since 2012, and in each of the previous three it has been Stars who have advanced: in the 2012 quarterfinals the match ended goalless before Ea Lla Koto won on penalties, while in 2015 and 2016 the Free State side won 1-0 and 3-0 respectively.
Stars have also proven a thorn in the side of the Clever Boys in more recent matches, claiming a 3-1 win in the second half of the last league season as well as a 2-2 draw back in August in the second round of the current PSL campaign.
Across all competitions, the teams have met in 62 matches since 1986. Wits have claimed 21 wins compared to 18 for Stars, while 23 encounters have finished all-square.
Wits are two-time League Cup champions, claiming the trophy in 1985 and 1995, while last season they were bundled out of the TKO by Stars in the last 16 round.
Ea Lla Koto, who won the League Cup in 1994 when it was known as the Coca-Cola Cup, were eliminated from last season’s competition in the semifinals, beaten 2-1 by eventual champions Cape Town City.
In terms of current form, Wits have lost to Bloemfontein Celtic and beaten Baroka FC in their league matches this month, while Stars followed a 2-0 win over Ajax Cape Town with a 1-1 draw at home to Platinum Stars last weekend.