Bidvest Wits only arrived in the country on Friday evening but they were ready for the challenge and were in total control of the match from the word go.
Malagasy Mario Ravo latched onto Jacquelin Tovosoa’s through ball but in a one-on-one situation, Ravo blazed the ball wide to let the South African club off the hook.
Bidvest Wits punished Lightstars’ lapse in defence three minutes later from Abednego Mosiatlhaga’s brilliant cross to captain Dillon Sheppard whose volley flew past goalie Romeo Barra for a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Tovosoa forced the South Africans goalie Jethren Barr to push a fierce shot onto the cross bar as Lightstars threatened to level matters.
In the 28th minute, the visitors extended their lead as Mosiatlhaga flicked in a header to make it 2-0.
The South Africans had a few more decent chances to extend their advantage but could not add to their tally before the break.
In the second half, Bidvest relaxed their grip but still managed to score a third on 56 minutes following a swift interchange of play involving captain Sheppard who set up substitute Elias Pelembe, whose teasing cross was headed home by defender Marcus Lecki past goalie Romeo Barra to complete the rout.
Gavin Hunt (Head Coach, Bidvest Wits)
We had a total domination of this match and should have won by a wider scoreline, though we played in difficult conditions with the hot weather and artificial pitch which was not in our favour. Our opponent also had good chances to score in the opening minutes and that could have changed the complexion of the match.
Dillon Sheppard (Head Coach, Bidvest Wits)
We played in difficult conditions with the hot weather and artificial pitch which was against us. Nonetheless, we achieved a good result which puts us in a good stead for the return match at home.
James Barra (Head Coach, Lightstars)
We did not play too badly but the problem is that we paid too much respect to our opponent and allowed them too much space which cost us dearly. We could have done much better if we had made the most of our chances.
Noelson Jeannot (Captain, Lightstars)
It was not an easy match for us as we had a lot to do but we feel we could have done better if we had tightened up in midfield to deny our opponent the space to hurt us.