Amr Gamal set up the game's winner for Bidvest Wits
Saturday Dec 02, 2017. 20:25
Vincent Pule emerged off the bench and onto stardom as Bidvest Wits secured a 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic at he Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday evening to clinch 2017 Telkom Knockout Cup glory.
The second-half substitute ending a 22-year wait for victory in South Africa's version of the League Cup. The title only their third success in the competition.
The game got off to a rather cagey start as can often be expected when there is a lot to play for. There was no shortage of intent, though, with both teams not willing to hold back in their tackles.
Frank Mhango, back from suspension, threatened to break the deadlock and almost did so in the 26th minute following a weaving run.
His cross directed onto both posts by Wandisile Letlabika who was relieved to watch Daylon Claasen miss the rebound as the Clever Boys squandered a golden chance to hit the front.
Siwelele failed to conjure any clear cut chances before the interval, but did force Darren Keet into some work in first half stoppage time. Ndumiso Mabena's tame effort straight down the goalkeeper's throat. 0-0 at the break.
The game lacked real urgency as the same rhythm followed in the second half.
Phunya Sele Sele, though, would go close to breaking the deadlock as they too troubled the woodwork. Victor Letsoalo's header attempt expertly tipped onto the frame by Keet in the 63rd minute.
The game looked destined to go into extra-time, but Amr Gamal and Pule had other ideas as they combined well for game's winner in the 90th minute of the clash.
The Egyptian forward with two step-overs before firing a low cross into a dangerous area which Pule expertly converted with a back-heel finish to secure more silverware for Gavin Hunt's troops.
Bidvest Wits (0) 1 (Pule 90')
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 0
Keet - Allie, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti - Monare, Claasen (Pule 72'), Mlambo (Motshwari 63'), Klate - Gamal, Mhango (Ntshanegase 90+3').
Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Letlabika - Baloyi, Phahlane - Letsoalo, Hotto, Mabena - Nyundu (Mabaso 89').