Stars Dimmed by Clever Boys

A fortnight ago, the Tycoons were handed a 3-1 defeat by SuperSport United, and this second consecutive loss on their home ground will be of great concern to coach Miguel Gamondi.

The visitors started strongly and kept up their intensity throughout the match, though they shouldn't have had to wait until their late penalty to break the deadlock.

Clifford Mulenga, who has been the undoubted star for Wits so far this season, tested Stars' Wayne Sandilands with a shot from just outside the penalty area in the eighth minute, but the 'keeper was more than equal to the task.

Just a few moments later it was Bantam who spurned a decent chance for the visitors, heading wide from close range.

Phikoletu Spelman put his 19th minute effort wide of goal after some good work by Sifiso Myeni, and six minutes later the midfielder himself tried his luck from long range, only for the ball to fly wide.

Just prior to the half hour mark, Stars' Luis Renteria missed out on a good chance to break the deadlock, pulling his shot wide of Energy Murambadoro's goalposts.

Sandilands again denied Mulenga in the 35th, and 10 minutes later Edward Williams made an important block to halt Myeni's shot. The sides went into the half time break with the score at 0-0.

Five minutes after the restart, Spelman got on the end of Fabricio Rodrigues' free kick but he couldn't direct his header on target, as Wits started the second half much as they ended the first.

Around the hour mark, the hosts started to show more ambition and Murambadoro had to make two saves just a few minutes apart from Tshepo Ramokala and Renteria.

On 66 minutes, Bantam came within inches of breaking the deadlock with a well-struck free kick from 20 yards out that rattled the woodwork.

In the 78th minute the Clever Boys finally opened the scoring, as Bantam hammered home a penalty after Lefa Mogaila had fouled Mulenga in the 18-yard area.

Stars tried their best to spark a late rally, with Renteria firing a shot just over the crossbar in the 86th minute and Godfrey Sapula forcing Murambadoro into a save in the final minute of injury time, but it was too little, too late from the hosts.

Wits had defender Patrick Phungwayo sent off for a second yellow card in injury time, a concern for coach De Sa, as he is already missing defender Ashraf Hendricks through a niggling injury. Nonetheless, the Clever Boys will be delighted with the result.

Report courtesy of Backpagepix.