BidVest Wits coach Gavin Hunt says his side’s struggled in the CAF Confederation Cup this season have made his side mentally stronger as they advanced to the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup following a pulsating penalty shoot-out victory over Orlando Pirates on Sunday.
The teams were locked at 3-3 after extra-time, during which Wits had Elias Pelembe sent-off by referee Victor Gomes, who also awarded two penalties in a game that was packed with action.
"There's so much I can say but I'd rather stay away from that, I think CAF makes you strong, it makes you mentally strong and all the diversity we had in CAF, you can't believe what we had in CAF, we came here and you know, that's why we battle away," Hunt said.
"We're strong mentally, physically, down to 10 [players], we always looked like we could have a chance, yes they had chances at the end but we had the best chances of the game, real 100 percent chances over the course of the game.
"[Deon] Hotto in the first five minutes of the game, I mean he's just got to roll it in, we hit the post and obviously we had some other ones. Fantastic spirit, we've got fantastic spirit, we might not have the best, but we always got a good spirit and that's the most important thing."
Wits were knocked out in the pool stages of the Confederation Cup without gaining a single win, but Hunt says that has hardened their resolve.
"I'll say it again what we went through in CAF, no human being can go through what we've been through. I knew we could withstand things like this.
"I said to them, 'Look, we can ride the storm a little bit, we'll get through, we can win this game 3-0 or 4-0', well credit to them they came back in and obviously we all saw what happened after that, the penalty, their penalty was definitely a penalty and ours, obviously that's disappointing. But we were really tough mentally and that's the most important thing.
"In CAF, there are never reds, there are never yellow cards, so that's the difference. In CAF, they tackle you, anything below waist height is not a yellow card and anything above the waist height is maybe a yellow card so, that's CAF.
"We found that out, we had red cards in CAF, penalties against us, people criticise us for getting knocked out in CAF, but nobody saw the game of ours, nobody and what we went through was unbelievable.
“I said to the players, this will see us through the season, I'm telling you now.”
Wits will find out their potential opponents in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 when the draw is made on Monday night.