Early goal sets up Wits to surprise Sundowns
Nelspruit (South Africa) (AFP) - A 35-second goal set up Wits for an unexpectedly convincing 3-0 triumph over Mamelodi Sundowns Saturday in the South African Top 8 Cup final in Nelspruit.
Veteran winger Daine Klate scored from the edge of the box just after the kick-off to rock Sundowns, who play Zamalek of Egypt this month in the CAF Champions League final.
Beanpole striker Eleazar Rodgers, recalled by South Africa for a World Cup qualifier in Burkina Faso next Saturday, doubled the lead on 20 minutes after a goalmouth scramble.
As Sundowns pressed in the second half for the goal that would bring them back into contention, Klate delivered the knockout blow just past the hour mark by finishing off a Rodgers cross.
It was the first domestic success for Johannesburg-based Wits since lifting the South African FA Cup six years ago and a first title for coach Gavin Hunt since taking charge three seasons ago.
The Top 8 involves the top eight finishers in the previous league season and offers a winners-take-all eight million rand ($585,000, 520,00 euros) prize plus an 800,000 rand appearance fee.
Ajax Cape Town were unable to defend the title as they finished in the bottom half of the table last season.