Wits hand champions a beating

Brad Phillips and Ryan Chapman scored on debut for Wits, while Thando Mngomeni converted a penalty to see Roger de Sa’s team pick up an emphatic victory. This after Brent Carelse had been sent off.

United certainly looked the more potent attacking force in the early stages, with Anthony Laffor giving Phillips a real working over on the right flank, though the Liberian’s final ball was generally below-par.

In the tenth minute Wits almost opened the scoring through youngster Chris Flandorp, who fired a free-kick from the edge of United’s penalty area through the defensive wall and just wide of Wayne Brown’s left-hand post.

In general though, both teams struggled to find a rhythm and there was little in the way of quality attacking football.

The last five minutes of the first half saw a slight improvement and SuperSport almost forced an own goal from the Clever Boys’ defence with a Carelse free-kick, but Energy Murambadoro made a sharp save with his right hand.

The second half appeared to be taking shape much as the first did, until a game-changing incident in the 55th minute saw United reduced to 10 men.

Carelse was upended in the Wits penalty area and appealed for a spot-kick, only for referee Lwandile Mfiki to ignore him. The midfielder reacted angrily and showed vociferous dissent toward the official, who had no choice but to show a straight red card.

It took Wits just 10 minutes to capitalise on their numerical advantage. A clever free-kick routine found Phillips completely unmarked in the penalty area and he beat Brown at his near post with a low, left-footed drive.

The Clever Boys doubled their advantage in the 86th minute from the penalty spot. Ricardo Katza hauled down Sifiso Vilakazi and substitute Mngomeni coolly converted to end the game as a contest.

And the home team wrapped up the game in style four minutes into added time when Ryan Chapman got ahead of David Kannemeyer to control a ball in the box and poke it past the helpless Brown.