Wits stay on track for league-cup double

Wits join fellow top-flight clubs Bloemfontein Celtic, Cape Town City, Chippa United, Golden Arrows and record 13-time FA Cup winners Kaizer Chiefs in the last-eight draw this Thursday.

Picture: @BidvestWits/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Bidvest Wits kept on course for a South African league-cup double when they beat Black Leopards 3-2 on penalties Monday to reach the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals.

A lively last-16 tie ended 1-1 after extra time with Gift Motupa putting league leaders Wits ahead on 35 minutes and Mwape Musonda equalising for the home side after 80 minutes.

Leopards, who upset Orlando Pirates to reach the round of 16, had several chances to win the match as stoppage time drew to a close in remote northeastern town Thohoyandou.

Zambian Musonda fired wide with only goalkeeper Ricardo Goss to beat and Karabo Tshepe had a legitimate penalty appeal ignored by the match officials.

Wits goalkeeper Ricardo Goss, getting a rare start in place of rested Darren Keet, saved Leopards' second and third shootout kicks to give Wits a 3-1 lead.

But the Johannesburg outfit failed to convert their next two spot-kicks as Rotshidzwa Muleka saved from captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, then Vuyo Mere blazed over.

Themba Ndlovu put the fourth Leopards penalty in the net and it was left to Lesedi Kapinga to try and score from the fifth and take the shootout to sudden death.

Kapinga failed, ballooning the ball over the crossbar, and Leopards must now concentrate on moving away from the relegation zone.

"We are a good, honest, hard-working side and those qualities will take you far in any football competition," said Wits coach Gavin Hunt.

Leopards coach Dylan Kerr praised his team despite the loss: "I got all the energy, effort and enthusiasm I could have wish for."

Wits join fellow top-flight clubs Bloemfontein Celtic, Cape Town City, Chippa United, Golden Arrows and record 13-time FA Cup winners Kaizer Chiefs in the last-eight draw this Thursday.

The line-up is completed by two second division clubs, Cape Umoya United (formerly Platinum Stars) and TS Galaxy.