Debut to forget for Mukamba

HARARE - Zimbabwe international and captain Denver Mukamba finally made his debut for his new South African side Bidvest Wits against Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup first round clash on Saturday.

Mukamba, who joined the students from Zimbabwe champions Dynamos last month, came in as a second half substitute for Bhongolwethu Jayiya after 58 minutes.

It was a debut to forget for Mukamba as Wits were put to the sword by the Glamour Boys going down 3-0.

Siboniso Gaxa, Morgan Gould and Mandla Masango all ended up on the score sheet on Saturday night as the Students were taught a football lesson.

Chiefs were at a higher level that Wits could not reach and the 3-0 scoreline could have turned into a cricket had the Soweto giants been clinical in the final third.

Mukamba was introduced by coach Clive barker when Wits was already trailing by two goals and it was going to be tough task for him to inspire the comeback.

The 22-year-old, who was handed the Warriors armband earlier this month by new interim coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels, struggled with his first touch.

Mukamba lost possession unnecessarily as he seemed to struggle with the infamous Mbombela Stadium turf which is still recovering from the battering it took during the 2013 African Nations Cup.

It was not only Mukamba who appeared to struggle with his game but the entire Wits players were off colour on the night.

The Students were being exploited by the runs of Siphiwe Tshabalala and Zimbabwean Matthew Rusike in the Glamour Boys midfield.

Tshabalala and Rusike were in the thick of things as they initiated all the Chiefs attacks to pin back Wits in their own back yard.

Simply put, Wits could not keep up with Chiefs’ pace. Already bogged down by tired legs after more than an hour of work, the Wits defence of Zimbabwean Thomas Sweswe and Aaron Mokoena were helpless in trying to match Rusike and Tshabalala’s speed.

Another player who was a thorn in the flesh for the Wits defenders was Zimbabwean forward Kingstone Nkhatha.

Although he failed to get on the score sheet, Nkhatha was a handful for Sweswe and Mokoena all the time he was in possession.

Any sense of comfort or control that Wits felt was completely disrupted whenever the former Black Leopards striker made his menacing runs into the box.

Nkhatha’s best chance to find the back of the net came in the 67th minute when he was set up by Lucky Baloyi but his curling shot hit the crossbar.

Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter was pleased with the result after the match saying that they will continue to take things one game at a time.

"I was very pleased with the performance of the players. We took 10-15 minutes to settle in. We used a different system that we worked about four hours on, and I think the players played the system very well," Baxter told SuperSport.

"We played with three centre backs in zone, and with very aggressive fullbacks that became wingbacks. This allowed us to get lots of players in between their lines. It gave them (Wits) problems and that was obviously the ambition of the team.

"We'll go one game at a time. We've won this game and we played very well. But the next game is a new game, and the next round of this cup is a new opponent. So we'll take it that way and hope we can go all the way."

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