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Clever Boys sink Buccaneers to go top

A superb first-half brace from Gabadinho Mahango was enough to see Bidvest Wits sail past Orlando Pirates in their second ABSA Premiership fixture of 2017.s.

A measured start from both sides as they tried to navigate the stacked pitch seemed to favour Gavin Hunt’s men, who settled into their rhythm first and dominated most of the ball in the opening exchanges.
Former Bidvest Wits keeper Jackson Mabokgwane was in fine form, denying the visitors twice in the first 10 minutes, first stopping Phakamani Mahlambi’s driven effort before denying James Keene on the follow up.
The hosts threatened as the half progressed with a few tame efforts at Darren Keet.
Mhango broke the deadlock, neatly beating two defenders and curling an effort beyond Mabokgwane at full stretch.
Pirates claimed a penalty in the 37th minute when Manyisa went down in the area after a challenge from Allie, but the referee dismissed the appeals.
Mhango doubled the visitor’s advantage with a headed goal in the closing moments of the first half.
The second half saw the hosts trying to dictate the pace of play and possession, but they were unable to convert that into anything significant.
The Sea Robbers managed to keep the game alive when Jele latched onto a loose ball in the area after Wome’s header was saved.
Pirates continued to push for an equalizer but a disciplined display by the Braamfontein outfit only added to the host’s frustration.
Mabokgwane was sent off after playing sweeper. Mhango broke the offside trap to meet a long ball played over the top and attempted to chip the onrushing keeper who subsequently handled the ball far outside of his area.
Jele turned from goal scorer to goal keeper, taking on the responsibility with the gloves. The change saw Bidvest Wits attempting to test the stand-in keeper from range. Jele was equal to the efforts and pulled off a good save in the final minutes to deny Mhango his hat-trick.
The win sees Bidvest Wits move to the top of the Absa Premiership log while Orlando Pirates continue to struggle with their form, now occupying 10th spot in the table.


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Orlando Stadium2017/02/1519:30 PM