DURBAN – Bidvest Wits made an early statement of intent with an impressive 3-0 league win over AmaZulu at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday night.
In what was a polished performance all round from Gavin Hunt's team, goals from Terrence Dzvukamanja and Deon Hotto gave them a 2-0 lead at the turn-around before Thulani Hlatshwayo sealed a deserved three points with a second half header.
AmaZulu struggled to create clearcut chances for most of the evening but were to have the first opportunity of the game, when Wits keeper Brandon Petersen's poor clearance in the in the eighth minute fell to Sibusiso Mabiliso. Petersen, however, redeemed himself as he clawed Mabaliso's chip away before blocking the follow-up from Andre de Jong.
Apart from that though, Wits were controlling the game as the hosts struggled to find any kind of fluency to their play.
Sameegh Doutie, making his return to the Clever Boys, was looking lively down the right wing and it was his storming run in the 14th minute which led to the opening goal as he picked out Dzvukamanja in the box, the Zimbabwean's initial effort being blocked before he nodded home from the rebound.
Wits were able to retain their superiority and their lead was doubled six minutes before the interval when Dzvukamanja slipped in Hotto, who beat Moeneeb Josephs with an angled shot at the near post – a goal which the veteran keeper will know all too well himself that he should have kept out.
Things went from bad to worse for Usuthu 10 minutes after the restart when Wits skipper Hlatshwayo was left unmarked at a Keegan Ritchie free-kick and made no mistake with a powerful header.
Hlatshwayo should have added a second goal to his name just a couple of minutes later after he was again left unattended in the AmaZulu box, but this time he got his angles wrong and headed well wide.
New AmaZulu signing Lehlohonolo Majoro, back for a second spell at the Durban club, was at least able to inject a bit of impetus into the home attack after coming on as a substitute.
But by that stage, with the match heading into the final 20 minutes, Wits were very much in command and there was only going to be one winner.
Indeed, the visitors were looking in a rampant mood on the counter attack and were close to adding more goals through Elias Pelemebe and debutant Carl Lark, who should really gave netted with his first involvement of the game after coming off the bench in the 88th minute.
African News Agency (ANA)