Match Review – BIDVest Wits F.C vs Ajax Cape Town
Wits still unbeaten after 1-1 draw
BIDVest Wits continued their unbeaten run in the early stages of the 2009/10 Absa Premiership season, but they will be disappointed at having conceded a late equaliser to Ajax Cape Town’s Franklin Cale in a 1-1 draw at Newlands Stadium on Sunday.
The Clever Boys looked on track for all three points after a 64th minute goal by early Golden Boot pacesetter Calvin Kadi, but the Urban Warriors fought back right at the death to force a draw and avoid what would have been a third straight league defeat at home.
After a patchy opening ten minutes on a heavy-looking pitch (Cape Town had been experiencing some inclement weather in the build-up to the match), the hosts began to take control of the game.
Franklin Cale forced goalkeeper Darren Keet to make the first genuine save of the match with a rasping shot and the visitors then needed Richard Gariseb to make an important block to deny Diyo Sibisi an easy goal from the rebound.
Two minutes later Thulani Serero got on the end of a cross from the left flank and directed a header on target, only for Keet to make an excellent fingertip save and turn the ball around the post for a corner kick.
Midway through the first half Kadi almost had a chance to add to his tally in the Premiership, but Ajax centre-back Deniss Ivanovs did just enough to ensure the striker couldn’t get a good shot away.
With just under ten minutes to play in the first half, Dipsy Selolwane twice came close to breaking the deadlock, first heading just wide from a corner kick before firing a half volley from the edge of the penalty area over the bar.
The Urban Warriors shuffled their pack at half time, with Sameehg Doutie replacing Serero down the right wing. The substitute’s first action was to curl a shot from a free kick just over Keet’s crossbar.
At the other end, Hans Vonk was finally called into making his first save in the 49thminute. It proved to be a superb piece of goalkeeping from the veteran, as he quickly came off his line to block a Kadi shot after Sibusiso Vilakazi had squirmed free down the right and picked out his striker with a good cross.
The rain was pouring down by this stage but it didn’t stop some end-to-end football in the 54th minute as Vonk and then Keet were both called upon to make excellent saves within seconds of each other.
Another Ajax substitute, George Maluleka, worked some space for a good shooting opportunity in the 63rd minute but Keet proved equal to the young striker’s effort.
Despite this scare, Wits were looking the more confident side and they duly took the lead on 64 minutes through none other than the Absa Premiership’s leading goal scorer: Calvin Kadi. The striker easily beat Vonk from close range after a perfectly weighted pass from Vilakazi put the striker in behind the Ajax backline.
The goal seemed to wake the home side from their slumber and they began to create opportunities seemingly at will but they had to wait until the 88th minute to finally find the back of the net, with Cale making a late run into the box to fire a shot into the bottom corner and ensure that his side avoided a third successive home loss.
Ajax Cape Town (0) 1 (Cale 88′)
BIDVest Wits (0) 1 (Kadi 64′)
Ajax: Vonk, Davids, Hlatshwayo, Ivanovs, Jenniker, Serero (Doutie 46′), Ngobeni, Selolwane, Cale, Scott (Diallo 69′), Sibisi (Maluleka 59′)
Wits: Keet, Barkhuizen, Gariseb, Mashamaite, Phungwayo, Myeni, Morton, Mngomeni (Haskins 66′), Vilakazi (Sibande 82′), Chikwaikwai, Kadi