Maritzburg look to outsmart the Clever Boys

Maritzburg look to outsmart the Clever Boys
Keegan Ritchie of Bidvest Wits celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on 07 October 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 02, 2018. 11:06

Maritzburg United will look to outsmart Bidvest Wits when the teams meet in a Telkom Knockout quarterfinal at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday, 3 November 2018, kick-off at 20h15.

Maritzburg earned their placed in the last eight with a 2-1 win at home to Highlands Park on October 20. The KwaZulu-Natal side found themselves a goal down until late in the game, when strikes from Sphesihle Ndlovu and Mohau Mokate secured a come-from-behind triumph.

The Team of Choice has never won the Telkom Knockout, nor reached the final, but they have already improved on last year’s campaign when they were eliminated in the first round on penalties by Platinum Stars (the game ended 0-0 after extra time).

Wits secured their place in the quarterfinals with a hard-fought 1-0 away win over Free State Stars on October 20. Simon Murray scored within the first 60 seconds of the game, and the Johannesburg team then clung on to oust the reigning Nedbank Cup champions.

The Clever Boys are the reigning Telkom Knockout champions (and three-time winners of the League Cup overall) and looking to defend their crown in 2018.

This will be just the second cup meeting between Maritzburg and Wits. The first dates back to a time when the Clever Boys had been relegated from the top flight, as the Team of Choice won an Absa Cup last 32 clash 1-0 in Johannesburg way back in 2006.

Wits returned to the PSL in the 2006/07 season and the teams have been regular combatants ever since. Overall, they have clashed in 24 matches (including that one cup meeting) and the Clever Boys have claimed 11 wins compared to just four for the Team of Choice.

The clubs have faced off once already this season, playing to a goalless stalemate in a league clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium on September 19. The result extended Wits’ unbeaten sequence against United to nine matches.

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