A fast-starting Bidvest Wits crushed Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 in the MTN8 final at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday evening, with veteran winger Daine Klate scoring a brace of goals.
The Clever Boys were 2-0 up inside the first 20 minutes and added a third goal in the second half to claim their third Top Eight title (and their first since 1995) and a first piece of silverware in the tenure of coach Gavin Hunt.
Wits got off to a flyer, with Daine Klate opening the scoring with less than 40 seconds on the clock. The Clever Boys caught the Brazilians napping at the back and Klate was able to latch onto a poor clearance and fire home a right-footed shot from the edge of the box.
The Johannesburg side didn’t have to wait long for their second goal, with Eleazar Rodgers netting in the 20th minute. Elias Pelembe provided a cross from the right which neither Klate nor goalkeeper Denis Onyango managed to meet cleanly, and the resulting loose ball was turned home from close range by Rodgers.
The Brazilians made a double change at the start of the second half, sending on new striker Yannick Zakri as well as right-back Siyanda Zwane to shuffle the pack at both ends of the field. The Tshwane side certainly had more intensity and energy about their play.
They almost pulled a goal back in the 58th minute, with Tiyani Mabunda meeting a right-flank cross with a good header. However, his looping effort was well tipped over the crossbar by Keet.
Just as Sundowns looked to be building a head of steam, they were sucker-punched by a swift Wits counter attack just after the hour mark. The Clever Boys stole the ball on the halfway line, sent Rodgers clear down the right and his low cross was turned home on the slide by Klate to make it 3-0.
Wits had further chances to add to their advantage, but in the end they had to settle for a three-goal margin of victory.
Bidvest Wits (2) 3 (Klate 1’ 62’, Rodgers 20’)
Mamelodi Sundowns 0
Wits: Keet, Allie, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Pelembe (Ngele 89’), Monare, Mlambo, Klate, Mhango (Myeni 69’), Rodgers (Malajila 81’)
Sundowns: Onyango, Mbekile (Tau 76’), Arendse, Nascimento, Langerman (S. Zwane 46’), Mabunda, Kekana, Laffor (Zakri 46’), Vilakazi, Dolly, Billiat