Wits tame Santos in penalty blitz
Posted: 27 August 2008 Time: 22:02
BidVest Wits have defeated Santos 2-0 in an incredible Absa Premiership match at the BidVest Stadium on Wednesday night.
There were three penalties on the night – two of which were missed by Santos – in a game that saw plenty of goal-mouth action and goals from Phikolethu Spelman and Marawaan Bantam for the home side.
The visiting People’s Team won their first penalty on 18 minutes when Richard Rantjie handballed in the area, and the spot-kick was quite rightly awarded by referee Buyile Gqubule.
Eleazar Rodgers stepped up to take the kick, but his low effort was brilliantly saved by Wits’ Zimbabwean international goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro, once on the books of Hellenic.
Clifford Mulenga got the home crowd on their feet with a blistering, dipping effort from 35-yards that had the beating of Lee Langeveldt in the Santos goal, but not his left-hand post, and the ball rebounded to safety.
But just a minute later Wits were ahead. A corner-kick was met with a weak attempted punch from Langeveldt and new recruit Spelman rose highest to head home the rebound. It was a good poacher’s goal for the former Bush Bucks striker.
Wits were then rightly awarded a penalty when Santos striker Bonginkosi Macala upended Mulenga in the penalty area and former Santos man Bantam made no mistake from the spot.
Langeveldt then made good saves from Spelman and Mulenga, before Santos had another chance to get back into the match.
Rodgers forced the ball home after a scramble in the area, but before that referee Gqubule had blown the whistle for a contentious foul.
Ironically, neither team agreed with the penalty, as Santos would have preferred the goal to stand, while Wits thought the awarding was harsh.
Erwin Isaacs stepped up this time to take the penalty, but he blasted the ball high over the bar, much to the disgust of coach David Bright.
Spelman had the last chance of the game as he found acres of space on the edge of the area as Santos pushed forward, but he blasted the ball high and wide.