Wits go top with narrow win
Posted: 21 December 2007 Time: 22:14
BidVest Wits have moved to the top of the Absa Premiership – for 24 hours at least – with a 1-0 victory over Moroka Swallows at the BidVest Stadium on Friday night.
The only goal of the game came from Noah Chivuta a minute before halftime, his sixth of the season, though Swallows had a late penalty shout turned down, much to the irritation of their bench.
Sandile Ndlovu found space behind the Wits defenders early on, but couldn’t find the power in his shot and Moeneeb Josephs in the home goal saved easily.
Chivuta signaled his intentions at the other end with a ‘shoot-on-sight’ policy that saw him unleash a thunderbolt from 35-yards that flashed narrowly over the crossbar.
Brazilian striker Marcos de Jesus was proving a tricky customer for the Swallows defence and his header from a Neil Winstanley free-kick needed to be saved by Greg Etafia, before Ndlovu warmed the palms of Josephs at the other end.
But Chivuta opened the scoring on 44 minutes when Clive Moyo-Modise’s tame shot from the edge of the area was controlled by the Zambian midfielder in the six-yard box and he swiveled on the ball and beat Greg Etafia in the Swallows goal.
And it should have been 2-0 just a minute later when Moyo-Modise found acres of space on the righthand side, but with two teammates unmarked in the area he opted to go for goal and missed at the near post when a less selfish option was required.
Bantam’s curling free-kick early in the second half had Etafia stretching, while Moyo-Modise forced the keeper into a smart save at his near post, though in truth the shot was a weak one from a good position.
Phillip Evans then set up the striker with a free header that he put over the bar, admittedly from what looked like an offside position. Wits were controlling the game by now and Etafia just did enough to put De Jesus off as he connected with Sosibo’s cross and the striker lifted the ball over the bar.
A rare chance at the other end saw Ndlovu send a powerful header goalwards, but Josephs was well-positioned to save.
An excellently worked free-kick almost unlocked the Swallows defence as Bantam made to shoot from 30-yards out, but instead lifted the ball over the wall for Evans to run onto and volley, but he couldn’t keep the ball down.
Josephs then made a smart save from Ndlovu, while substitute David Radebe wasted a clear run on goal with a poor first touch, allowing Etafia to close down the space in front of him.
There was late drama in injury time when Josephs looked to have brought down James Chamanga in the area, but referee Daniel Bennett waved play-on. If there was not contact from Josephs, however, then Bennett should have given Chamanga a second yellow card of the evening for simulation.