- Published on 02 October 2016
Evergreen Daine Klate scored twice including a goal inside the first minute as Bidvest Wits sent out a strong early season signal of their potential for honours with a 3-0 thumping of Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 final as they claimed the first silverware of the campaign.
Eleazar Rodgers got the other goal in a rain affected final in front of some 30,000 at the Mbombela Stadium who created a rousing atmosphere.
It took all of 35 seconds – a record for a domestic cup final – for Wits to take a shock lead as the rain fell heavily just before the kickoff and left a few small wert patches that made early movement somewhat precarious.
Sifiso Hlanti made the initial run down the left flank and found Hellings Mhango in a good position but the Malawian scuffed a very good chance, seeing his effort cleared but straight to Klate to sweep the ball home with a powerful effort.
The wet surface was obviously a factor that Sundowns adapted less quickly to but they were also hurried in the midfield and got caught by the aerial prowess of Rodgers.
Klate, playing more centrally than usual, was also a thorn and his pass to Dominquez (Elias Pelembe) after five minutes should have been converted by the Mozambican but he was put off at the vital moment by Tebogo Langerman.
Sundowns might have had a penalty when Sifiso Vilakazi, playing for the first time against his old club, went down after seven minutes but referee Victor Gomes waved away his claims.
Mhlango set up Klate with a decent opportunity after 12 minutes but it was curled over the top and Mhlango had a chance himself with a header from Dominquez’ cross from the right.
But with 20 minutes gone, as the Sundowns defence were again severely exposed, it was Dominquez who whipped it in, Klate got in between the two central defenders to try and get his head to the ball and, in the challenge with ‘Downs goalkeeper Denis Onyango, it spilt for Rodgers to slide it in from the tightest of angles at the back post.
Sundowns went in search of a goal for the rest of the half with the lion’s share of possession but Thabang Monare and Xola Mlambo were imperious in the middle for Wits, cutting off their opponents’ supply line. In the end, Sundowns only effort of the first half was a free kick from Keegan Dolly that went wide just a minute before the break.
Pitso Mosimane made a double change at the break with Yannick Zakri and Siyanda Zwane brought in a strange switch to the formation with three at the back and Asavela Mbekile turned into a right wing.
Vilakazi, with characteristic running through the middle, looked Sundowns’ best option to try and forge a comeback. He set up a headed chance for Tiyani Mabunda which Darren Keet tipped over the ball just before the hour mark.
But it was on the counter that Sundowns were caught again with Rodgers feeding in Klate who claimed his second as he slid home the ball in the 62nd minute.
It could have been 4-0 just minutes later when Dominguez fired narrowly wide and Rodgers was put clear for a chance to score his second 11 minutes from time only to be thwarted by Onyango.
For Wits it was their first success in this competition since they won in 1995 and their first trophy overall in six years.