On a Sunday afternoon at Bidvest Stadium on the campus of the University of Witwatersrand in the shadow of downtown Johannesburg I showed up 2 hours early for this ABSA Premiership match in PSL between the hosts, Bitvest Wits, 'The Clever Boys', and visiting Kaizer Chiefs, 'Amakhosi'.
Wits University is world famous, and the first to allow racial mixing even before apartheid was outlawed. Wits FC have over 1,500 youth players, boys and girls, in various age groups but the pro team is 60% owed by Bidvest, a financial institution, and 40% by the university. The small stadium only holds 5,000 and the Clever Boys are lucky to attract 2,000, down in 9th place in the 16 team league. However, the nation's best supported club, Kaizer Chiefs brought lots of fans to fill the place and chant, sing, blow their vuvuzelas and even crank up a few portable air raid sirens.
The pitch was in immacucalte shape and will be the training ground for KNVB and the Dutch national team next year at FIFA World Cup 20110. There is one main covered west stand, an open south stand with the university planetarium behind it, and an open east stand. It only costs R20 for admission. There is just a fence behind the north goal and then a cricket pitch. In one corner there was a private pre-match fan party for about 150 fans which I gatecrashed, as I tend to do. I was taking photos of their fans, who welcomed me to get some food at the braai or barbecue, and after I had photographed and told the 3 security people how smartly dressed they were, I had no problem. South African sausages, steak, chicken, salad and white wine. What a welcome!.
The match was pretty even and very skillful, particularly in both defences, with the usual agile goalkeepers showing off, but lacked punch up front. In the 'away' fixture back in August at Orlando Stadium, Wits had won 1-0 but were now on a 9 match losing streak. 15 minutes to go and it looked to be a tie. WHAT DO I KNOW! The Chiefs exploded with 3 goals in the last quarter of an hours from midfielders Reineive, Abia Nale and Josto Didia in the last minute. Three valuable points to Amakhosi who were in 6th place and 8 points behind league leaders Supersport United who were 5 points clear of Ajax Cape Town after 16 matches.