Sifiso Myeni, after a number of missed chances, managed to score the winner for Wits from the penalty spot as his side struggled to a slender 1-0 win over Thanda Royal Zulu at the Mpumulanga stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Students picked up the win after a two-ame losing streak and put a smile on coach Roger De Sa's face.
The first effort on goal came from none other than Bernard Parker. After a goalmouth scramble in the Clever Boys' box the ball fell to the feet of Parker who unleashed a powerful shot from only six yards out that was headed to the top right hand corner, but Neil Winstanley managed to get his body in the way, saving his team from an embarrassing start.
Wits' first decent chance came in the 11th minute when the referee adjudged Ahmed Mohammed to have raised his boot to high and awarded an in-direct free-kick inside the box for dangerous play. However, Clifford Mulenga did not make enough of the opportunity and fired the ball just over the crossbar.
Thanda looked dangerous when they came forward, looking extremely fluid in their movement and especially when they attacked down the flanks, but they failed to make enough chances in front of goal as the final pass always lacked the necessary quality.
The best chances of the half fell to Sifiso Myeni who had three great opportunities to open the scoring but he failed on all three occasions to convert.
First in the 20th minute Mulenga did brilliantly to break down the left flank for Wits beating a Thanda defender with some superb skill before providing a beautiful through-ball for Myeni to run on to, putting him one-on-one with Aubrey Mathibe, but he squandered the opportunity as the keeper was out quickly to close him down.
Then, only ten minutes later, Myeni found himself with the ball at his feet in front of goal again, but this time, with the keeper at his mercy, he dragged his shot just inches wide of the left hand upright.
Myeni's third opportunity came in the 41st minute when Mulenga again broke down the left flank and provided another great through-ball; this time Myeni cut inside and let off his shot from 12 yards out, but again Mathibe was up to the challenge pulling off a fantastic save diving to his left.
The half ended 0-0 with Neil Winstanley of Wits and Aubrey Mathibe of Thanda the stars of the half for their respective clubs.
One did not have to wait long for the opening goal in the second half as it came only eight minutes after the break. A long throw-in from Winstanley into the Amabhubesi box missed everyone and fell to Mulenga only five yards out, he consequently unleashed a shot that was goalward bound but struck the arm of a Thanda defender and the referee rightly awarded a penalty kick.
This time Myeni made no mistake from the spot as easily slotted the ball past Mathibe, 1-0.
Parker had a great opportunity to bring the scores level in the 70th minute when he snuck in front of his marker from an in-swinging corner kick, but he failed to hit the target as he headed the ball just wide.
The ball seemed to follow Myeni around the park, as once again in the 74th minute he had an opportunity to double his side's lead; substitute Richard Rantjie broke down the right flank and delivered an inch perfect cross to find Myeni at the back post only ten yards out, but he attempted an acrobatic scissors-kick that went just wide.
Thanda failed to get the ball to their key players like Parker and Peter Ndlovu in the second half and hence they did not look as threatening going forward. Wits, on the other hand, returned to their old stalwart selves in defence, especially Winstanley who displayed a solid performance at the back.
The result takes Wits to third in the log, tied with 10 points with Mamelodi Sundowns and Ajax Cape Town, while Thanda drop to 10th.
Report courtesy of Backpage