Vilakazi strike downs Brazilians
Posted: 3 March 2015 Time: 18:52
A goal from Sibusiso Vilakazi 13 minutes from time handed Bidvest Wits a deserved 1-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns at Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday night.
Wits were full value for their win, which takes them seven points behind Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs having played one game more.
Chance after chance went abegging in the first half as Gavin Hunt's side failed to capitalise despite bossing the game against the Brazilians.
The first fell to right-back Siyabonga Nhlapo, who ghosted in at the far post to get on the end of Jabulani Shongwe's left-wing cross, but he horribly miscued his effort when well placed for a first-time shot.
Three minutes later Sundowns had their only real sniff of goal when Khama Billiat slipped in Cuthbert Malajila, but Thulani Hlatshwayo showed good strength and pace to get back and cover before Malajila could pull the trigger.
In the 25th minute Wits had another decent chance when the fit-again Papy Faty ran onto Henrico Botes' layoff inside the box, cut across goal on his left foot, and then fired wide when well placed to hit the target at least.
Downs had a half-chance a few minutes later when Alje Schut released Malajila down the left, but Kudakwashe Mahachi could not get onto the end of his cross under pressure from Onismor Bhasera.
Bhasera had a half-chance of his own to score in the 37th minute but Nhlapo's right-wing cross was just too far ahead of him when he was well placed on the six-yard line.
Yet another chance presented itself for Wits as the half drew to a close as Botes' flick-on found Kees Kwakman unmarked at the far post, but the defender could not keep his volley down from just five yards out.
Wits picked up where they left off in the second half, missing good chances as Vilakazi shot wide from a good position inside the area following a desperate scramble from the Sundowns defence.
The Clever Boys eventually got the goal they deserved when Nhlapo released Vilakazi down the right channel. The Wits captain took the ball towards goal, cut inside the sliding Ramahlwe Mphahlele and slotted the ball past Denis Onyango at his near post from a tight angle. A quality, composed finish.
Sundowns were still only creating moments of danger as Billiat was denied by a last-ditch interception from Buhle Mkhwanazi before Shongwe missed a golden opportunity to make it 2-0, firing wide after being played in by Vilakazi.
In the end the Brazilians could not find a way back despite throwing on Katlego Mashego, Anthony Laffor and Themba Zwane in the closing stages, with Laffor hitting the woodwork from a corner-kick deep into stoppage time.
Pitso Mosimane's charges remain 10 points behind Chiefs in third place on the log.
HOME: Bidvest Wits
Coach: Gavin Hunt
Formation: three five two
AWAY: Mamelodi Sundowns
Coach: Pitso Mosimane
Formation: four two three one