Resilient Arrows oust Wits from TKO

Golden Arrows twice came back from behind as they defeated Bidvest Wits 3-2 at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday night in the last 16 of the Telkom Knockout.

Kwanda Mngomyama and Sibusiso Vilakazi twice gave Wits the lead, but a brace from Bongi Ntuli saw Arrows back into the match before a late Rudolf Bester goal stole it at the end for the away side.

Wits got an early goal through a set piece situation. Wits right winger Bongolwethu Jayiya was fouled by Arrows left-back Mzivukile Tom. Matthew Pattison sent in a good cross to the back post which was headed home by 19-year-old defender Mngonyama to make it 1-0 in the seventh minute.

If conceding that goal wasn’t bad enough for Arrows, thing got worse as they suffered a huge set back when Kgotso Polela was stretched off the field in the 13th minute and was replaced by former Orlando Pirates forward Rudolf Bester.

With just under an hour gone, Abafana Bes’thende found the all-important equaliser. Pattison lost the ball in midfield when he was on attack. From his dispossession, Arrows hit Wits on the counter and Bester slipped a pass to Ntuli, who netted from close range into an open net.

In the 35th minute, Wits could have taken the lead when Arrows failed to clear the ball and it fell to Pattison in the box, but the midfielder saw his effort saved by the keeper.

Arrows missed the chance of the match in the 42nd minute when Ntuli crossed into the box and with Wits keeper Moeneeb Josephs out of his line, Bester headed wide of an open goal.

But cruelty struck the men from Durban as they saw an opportunity to score pass them by with Wits netting at the other end. Ayanda Lubelo found his skipper Vilakazi with a slick low cross and the 24-year-old midfielder tapped in simply to make it 2-1.

On the hour mark, Arrows equalised once again. Ntuli was the man who scored as he connected with a ball from the left flank and blasted Josephs’s net from close range to make it 2-2.

With just over ten minutes remaining in the match Arrows took the lead. Bester, who had missed several chances in the match, volleyed home from close range past a scrambling Josephs.

Bidvest Wits (2) 2 Mngonyama 7’, Vilakazi 42’

Golden Arrows (1) 3 Ntuli 27’ 60', Bester 80'

Teams:

Wits: Josephs, Pattison, Vilakazi (Isaacs 74’), Jayiya, Faty, Nhlapo, Bhasera, Benjani (Chapman 67’), Kofi, Lubelo (Langwe 82’), Mngonyama

Arrows: Gumede, Tom, Sikhakhane, Wadabwa (S Zwane 82’), Mndunge, Shange, Ntombayithethi, Ntuli, Sithole, Nene, Polelo (Bester 13’)