CAPE TOWN – Gavin Hunt wasn’t a happy camper after his Bidvest Wits team came up short against Cape Town City in their Absa Premier League clash at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
South Africa’s most experienced domestic coach was sulking afterwards believing the match officials had done him and his boys a dirty.
He needs to learn how to lose like a man. His charges took a pounding throughout the second half, dropped two goals without reply and kissed goodbye their seven-game unbeaten run on the road.
Striker Kermit Erasmus and wing Craig Martin struck for the Citizens to make it 2-0 and hand Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink a second win from eight games.
The Capetonians’ fourth victory from 19 outings takes their points tally to 20, but they remain in 12th place on the log standings on 20 points.
Hunt didn’t want to say much afterwards but did feel they should have been four goals to the good at half-time. There’s truth to that. But you have to bury your chances, they never did.
City did battle to string together any meaningful passages of play and also gave away possession way too easily playing into the notorious Cape Doctor, while also only having one shot on target just before the break sent in from far out by wing Bradley Ralani that warmed the gloves of Wits goalkeeper Ricardo Goss.
It was one-way traffic in the second stanza.
“We dominated our opponents and deserved to win,” said Riekerink. “We created chances and that’s how I want my players to play. They played well after we regrouped. We dealt with the space, we dealt with the ball and we combined well. That’s what we’re about. Yes, it was windy but the ball is on the ground, it has less effect on the ball. We spoke about this before the game and did what we wanted to do.”
Hunt’s charges couldn’t get to grips with the 30km/h wind behind their backs in the final 45 minutes and hardly came close to making a fist of it. City found their game and looked the side of old. You could see the players growing in confidence by the minute. They controlled proceedings with their accurate passing and neat inter-play down both flanks proving too much for the Clever Boys, who may have kissed their title hopes goodbye.
Erasmus had had a quiet night up until the moment he pounced on a deflection off the left upright to break the deadlock in the 66th minute. The home side had five minutes earlier earned a penalty after captain Thami Mkhize had been brought down charging into the big box. Thabo Nodada lined up the spot kick but not before a long delay as the Wits players surrounded referee Masixole Bambiso, a couple making contact with him. Maybe that played a part in Nodada’s mucking up as his low shot was too central and easily saved.
The home faithful must have thought it here we go again. But after Erasmus had lightened the mood City continued to boss their rivals from up north and in the final few minutes doubled the advantage after a quick counter-attack was rounded off by Martin, who faced the keeper in a one-on-one situation and made no mistake from close range.
Let’s hope that this is the start of better things to come from a team that belongs in the top half of the table.