Chiefs end trophy-less season with win over newly crowned champions Wits

Bidvest Wits came to pick up the Absa Premiership trophy, but could not bag a win with it on Saturday, having to settle for a 1-0 defeat against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.

Gavin Hunt’s warriors – for they had one characteristic, more than any other, of being soldiers winning the PSL this season – could not lifted themselves to one more win in a game as flat as a pancake.

Wits might have lost, thanks to Gustavo Paez’s 92nd-minute strike, but there were a few things that were apt in this game.

It was apt that the Wits fans occupied the “open” stand, where in the first half they could bask in the sunlight, as much in the glory of their first league triumph.

It was apt that Chiefs coach Steve Komphela finished the season as he had started it, with the overrated Hendrick Ekstein starting.

And it was apt that Ekstein duly paid the coach back by missing a sitter in the first half, unable to add to his one goal this season.

It was apt that Wits lifted the trophy – they were the champions.

It was apt that Wits lifted the trophy – they were the champions.

It was apt that this game was a damp squib while elsewhere the PSL was going crazy. Wits were champions and Chiefs had fourth place left to play for, which they earned with this win and thanks to SuperSport United losing 1-0 at home to Platinum Stars.

The only thing not apt was that Wits could not win. It would have reflected a continuing power shift from old to new in SA football that, should Chiefs and Orlando Pirates not take heed on, will see their lustre continue to dull.

Wits had the accolades from when they wrapped up the title with their 2-0 win against Polokwane City last week.

Theirs was a victory for professionalism. No other club – not even SuperSport United, who the current Wits evolved from with their poachings of coach Hunt and CEO Jose Ferreira – can tick as many boxes from facilities to technical and management staff, and squad.

African champions and current PSL superpower Mamelodi Sundowns might have the player might, but are nowhere near as precise off the field. That, as much as Downs’ 60 games in 2016-17, saw Wits lift the domestic trophy.

Chiefs had the chances in the first half, but Emmanuel Letloto missed two, and Ekstein another.

Early in the second half Daniel Cardoso turned Pule’s cross onto his own upright. Paez stabbed home from close range in added time.

By Marc Strydom, At FNB Stadium – Tiso Black Star Group/Tiso Black Star Group Sport

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