Wits Down Struggling Bucs To Move Top
Absa Premiership Report: Orlando Pirates v Bidvest Wits 15 February 2017
Full-Time: Orlando Pirates 1-2 Bidvest Wits
Date: 15 February 2017
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Bidvest Wits have moved to the top of the Absa Premiership standings, after securing a 2-1 win over struggling Orlando Pirates.
The Clever Boys looked lively in the opening stages, most notably Phakamani Mahlambi, who was given the freedom to roam.
Jackson Mabokgwane was called upon in the opening 15 minutes, as he produced a couple fine saves to deny Mahlambi and James Keene.
The Buccaneers started enjoying more of the possession after 20 minutes, but were unable to take advantage as Darren Keet pulled off a few good stops.
However, Wits broke the deadlock on 29 minutes as Gabadinho Mhango cut between two Pirates defenders, before curling the ball into the top corner.
Gavin Hunt's charges took control after going ahead with Granwald Scott and Thabang Monare taking control in the middle of the park.
Wits eventually doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime as Mhango rose above Mobara to send a powerful header past Mabokgwane, 2-0.
Pirates were dealt a blow on 50 minutes as Marc Van Heerden was forced off with an injury. He was replaced by Thembela Sikhakhane.
The Buccaneers eventually pulled a goal back in the 61st minute when Happy Jele smashed home from close range, after Darren Keet could only parry Dove Wome's header.
Pirates were then reduced to 10 men in the 77th minute when Mabokgwane was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside of the box.
Jele finished the match as Pirates' goalkeeper, after the club had used all three substitutions before the sending off.
Despite being a man down, Pirates pushed for an equaliser in the closing stages but the Wits defence managed to hold out until the final whistle.
Pirates have now stretched their winless run in the top flight to seven games, as they occupy 10th spot.
Here's how they lined up:
Pirates: 16. Mabokgwane, 2. Gcaba, 4. Jele, 8. Matlaba, 36. Van Heerden (Sikhakhane 51') , 45. Mobara, 20. Manyisa, 29. Lorch, 11.. Memela, 35. Wome, 7. Ndoro.
Wits: 1. Keet, 2. Allie, 3. Hlatshwayo, 7. Klate, 8. Monare, 13. Hlanti, 15. Mkhwanazi, 17. Mhango Myeni 90+2'), 26. Scott, 27. Mhalambi (Pelembe 62'), 28. Keene. (Malajila 73')