Bidvest Wits visited the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium tonight to take on Mamelodi Sundowns in what proved to be a showcase of local football. Fast paced action and physical encounters were the highlight of the game which saw the hosts walking away 4-2 winners.
Braces for Klate and Malajila and goals by Billiat and Modise made for an exciting 90 minutes.
Both sides displayed attacking intent early on with a number of chances created early, a number of yellow cards were show early too when Shongwe picked up the first booking in the 6th minute for a pull on Modise.
Nhlapo got joy exploring the channel down the right flank and a cross in the 17th minute caught Mweene out of position. A brilliant goal-line clearance by Zungu kept the scores level as Klate’s header seemed destined for the back of the net. Three minutes later Malajila opened the scoring in the 20th minute after a quickly taken free kick, slotting a well placed effort low past Josephs. An appeal for a seemingly clear hand ball from Mashaba was waved away in the latter stages of the opening half.
Pelembe was next in the referees book for fouling Modise deep in the Sundowns half with 3 minutes to play in the opening half. With seconds remaining of regulation time in the first half Hlatshwayo landed awkwardly and sprained his groin and was unable to continue. He was replaced by new signing and debutant Jacobs in the second half.
The Clever Boys started the second half well and opportunity fell at the feet of Klate who had his effort blocked. The rebound fell to Mkhwanazi who struck the crossbar with a venomous shot.
Gavin Hunt made his intentions clear bringing on Ngcepe for Botes in the 58th minute.
Showing their tenacity and a good fighting spirit, Bidvest Wits equalised in the 63rd minute through Klate who managed to get in front of his marker and head home past Mweene to level matters.
The pace slowed slightly in the middle stages of the second half. In the 64th minute Kekana replaced Ngele who’s rocket from range tested Josephs seconds earlier.
Bhule Mkhwanazi picked up the third yellow of the match for his challenge on Malajila.
“General” Vilakazi was brought into the fray in the 74th minute replacing Shongwe while Pitso brought on Laffor for Keagan Dolly.
Malajila grabbed his second goal after a messy scramble in the area, the ball seemingly creeping over the line as Josephs attempted to pull the ball off the line. Themba Zwane was introduced in the 80th minute for the hosts as Malajila was withdrawn.
Hunt’s men were caught on the break as they tried to force a result as Billiat slotted his effort past Josephs in the 88th minute. Teko Modise’s first touch strike 45 seconds later saw the home side take a 4-1 lead with 4 minutes of added time being played at the end of the match.
The Clever Boys had little go their way with Pelembe striking the bar after a well rehearsed set-piece delivered to the back post. The linesman had his flag up for offside, a questionable call to most in attendance.
Daine Klate scored a great consolation late into stoppage time with a calm, collected finish. The game ended 4-2 and sees Masandwana move to the top of the Absa Premiership Log.
Coach Gavin Hunt said “We didn’t deserve to lose; we should have won the game clearly. Football is a cruel game sometimes and we didn’t get the rub of the green. Cuthbert scored two goals, but to be fair he should have been red-carded in the first half … he should have been off the field. All credit to them … they break, they score, but there was only really one team here today and that is football for you.”
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene, Nthethe, Mphalele, Mbekile, Modise, Ngele (63′ Kekana), Mashaba, Billiat, Dolly (73′ Laffor), Zungu, Malajila (82′ Zwane)
Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Hlatshwayo (45′ Jacobs), Mkhwanazi, Nhlapo, Bhasera, Shongwe (73′ Vilakazi), Klate, Pelembe, Motshwari, Ntshangase, Botes (58′ Ngcepe)