Wits Sink Pirates To Move Three Points Clear Of 'Downs
Result: Bidvest Wits 1-0 Orlando Pirates
Date: 04 May 2017
Venue: Bidvest Stadium
Bidvest Wits moved three points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns after recording a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates on Thursday evening.
The Buccaneers got off to an encouraging start with the likes of Oupa Manyisa and Mpho Makola seeing a bit of the ball in the opening stages.
There was a good tempo to the encounter with both sides showing their intentions to attack, although Pirates went closest through Issa Sarr and Abbubaker Mobara in the opening 15 minutes.
Wits' Phakamani Mahlambi started seeing more of the ball after the 20-minute mark, but the younger winger's final ball could not threaten the Pirates backline.
As the half went on, Kjell Jonevret's charges started enjoying more of the possession but they struggled with the final pass and were restricted to shots from distance.
However, chances were hard to come by in the closing stages of the first half as the sides went into the break level.
Gavin Hunt opted for a change at the start of the second half as Sifiso Myeni made way for Cuthbert Malajila.
The substitution paid off for Wits, as they broke the deadlock in the 56th minute as Mahlambi surged into the box before pulling the ball back for Malajila, who fired into the bottom corner.
Pirates nearly hit back in the 64th minute but Moeneeb Josephs produced a superb save to keep out Thabo Rakhale's effort from the edge of the box.
With Pirates trailing, Kjell Jonevret introduced Thabo Qalinge and Tendai Ndoro for Mpho Makola and Ayanda Gcaba in the 70th minute.
Even with the new introductions, Pirates were finding it tough carve out clear-cut chances while they also looked vulnerable on the counter.
Nonetheless, the Clever Boys managed to see off a late surge from the Buccaneers to claim the victory and move clear of Sundowns.
Here's how they lined up:
Wits: 16. Josephs, 3. Hlatshwayo, 4. Khumalo, 8. Monare, 13. Hlanti, 17. Mhango, (Pule 87') 23. Myeni (Malajila 46'), 27. Mahlambi (Pelembe 74), 30. Motshwari, 33. Frosler, 41. Ntshangase.
Pirates: 40. Mpontshane, 8. Matlaba, 4. Jele, 2. Gcaba (Ndoro 70') , 21. Phungwayo, 18. Sarr, 45. Mobara, 20. Manyisa, 25. Rakhale (Rakhale 77'), 5. Makola (Qalinge 70'), 31. Gabuza.