HASKINS STEALS SHOW
MARK Haskins was so determined to see Bidvest Wits in the final of the Nedbank Cup that he defied a back problem to steer his side through.
He came off the bench to net two extra-time goals that gave the Students a 3-1 win over Free Sate Stars in Saturday's semifinal at Olen Park in Potchefstroom and set up a final against AmaZulu at Soccer City on Saturday.
Haskins, the man of the match, said he did not anticipate that he would make such a big impact after coming on.
"I expected to make a difference, but not to that effect. The league is even now and there are no more easy games," he said.
Haskins, who had been troubled by back spasms, said reaching the final will soothe the disappointment of their dismal performance in the league, where they finished 10th.
"Winning this Cup will make up for an up-and-down season," he said.
Wits coach Roger De Sa admitted their route to the final had been a relatively easy one.
"Tthe draw has been very kind to us. This is the first time in the competition that we played a PSL side," De Sa said. The coach, who endured the misery of seeing his charges missing chance after chance, was ecstatic. He attributed the missed opportunities to a lack of firepower up front and inexperience.
"Most of my players are very young but I had to give them a chance. We promoted about 12 of them and still maintained our status in the league and no PSL side can say that," he said.
Stars scored first through Kingston Nkhatha in the first 10 minutes but Wits came back strongly in the second half and equalised through Marawaan Bantam to send the game into extra time.
Haskins stole the show with two goals in the second half of extra time.