Bidvest Wits’ Absa Premiership title aspirations suffered a blow on Saturday night when they were beaten 2-0 by Cape Town City.
The result at the Cape Town Stadium leaves the Clever Boys in fourth place on the log, 12 points adrift of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs but with three games in hand.
Wits cut open City’s defence within the opening minute and sent Deon Hotto through on goal, but the Namibian’s volley was well saved by goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh.
The visitors suffered an early injury blow when forward Terrence Dzvukamanja suffered a knock to his left leg in a challenge with Taariq Fielies, prompting the 12th-minute introduction of Haashim Domingo.
The match then fell into a lull, with neither side able to really threaten the other’s defence. City were guilty of giving away the ball far too cheaply and Wits, while they generally held onto the ball a little better, lacked penetration and precision in the final third.
It was little surprise to see the match head into the interval goalless, with the only notable chance being Hotto’s shorty after the kick-off, while Bradley Ralani tried from long range just before the break and warmed the palms of Ricardo Goss.
The second half continued in much the same vein, with Wits coach Gavin Hunt looking to take some initiative by introducing the in-form Gift Motupa off the bench to replace Bienveni Eva Nga on the hour mark.
The match soon came alive when City were awarded a penalty, with Thabang Monare bringing down Thamsanqa Mkhize in the 18-yard area. However, the chance was not converted by the hosts: Thabo Nodada took on the spot kick but his tame effort was well saved by Goss in the 64th minute.
Three minutes later Wits’ defence was caught napping and allowed Kermit Erasmus to break the deadlock. A long-range effort from Fielies deflected off a defender and hit the upright, but the City striker reacted quickest to the loose ball and stabbed home from close range for 1-0.
The Clever Boys showed far more intent once they were behind and the introduction of new signing Kgaogelo Sekgota added a new dimension to their attack, but the hosts held firm in defence and snatched a second goal on the counter in the 87th minute, with Craig Martin finishing past Goss after running onto Ralani’s through ball.
Martin’s game ended in injury time when he was sent off for a second yellow card, but it arrived too late to give Wits any way back into the game.
City will be back in Premiership action next weekend when they host Black Leopards on the evening of Friday 24 January, while Wits will face Horoya in the CAF Confederation Cup on Sunday 26 January.
Cape Town City (0) 2 (Erasmus 67’, Martin 87’)
Bidvest Wits 0
City: Leeuwenburgh, Mkhize, Fielies, Potouridis, Edmilson, Makola, Putsche, Nodada, Martin, Erasmus (Roberts 89’), Ralani (Lakay 90’)
Wits: Goss, Macheke, Hlatshwayo, Nonyane, Hlanti, Doutie (Sekgota 74’), Monare, Alexander, Hotto, Eva Nga (Motupa 60’), Dzvukamanja (Domingo 12’)