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Bidvest Stadium
Referee: Thando Ndzandzeka

Keene goal sees Wits close the gap

Posted: 16 March 2016 Time: 21:31

James Keene scored the only goal of the game as Bidvest Wits beat Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium to narrow the gap on log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to just four points.

The Clever Boys had to work hard for their victory over a Buccaneers team which came into the clash on the back of a four-game winning streak, but their reward is the rejuvenation of their title hopes as they took advantage of The Brazilians’ surprise loss at home to Bloemfontein Celtic.

Wits started the match brightly and Elias Pelembe almost opened the scoring in the 11th minute, getting away a shot from a tight angle which looked destined for the back of the net until Brighton Mhlongo made a fine save with his legs.

Midway through the first half Pirates almost broke the deadlock, with Luvoyo Memela getting away a shot which had the beating of Moeneeb Josephs, but rebounded off the post and skidded out of reach of Thabo Qalinge.


Wits claimed the lead in the 29th minute through Keene, who continued his prolific start to life in South African football. The Englishman managed to squeeze the ball home from close range after a good low cross from Thulani Hlatshwayo.

Just before half time Memela was lucky to stay on the field after a nasty, over-the-top challenge on Daine Klate. The Pirates man received only a yellow card, while Klate was fortunately able to play on.

Bucs dominated the play in the early stages of the second half and Wits needed goalkeeper Josephs to make two excellent saves – first to keep out a glancing header from Tendai Ndoro and then to palm away a low, long-range effort from Mpho Makola.

Makola came close soon after again – his low dipping shot from distance forcing Josephs into another fine save.

Pirates kept pushing, but could not find the equaliser and remain in sixth place.

AWAY: Orlando Pirates

Coach: Eric Tinkler
Formation: 4-4-1-1

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