CAPE TOWN – Bidvest Wits FC downed 10-man Cape Town City 2-0 in their PSL Absa Premiership match at Volkswagen Dobsonville Stadium, Soweto, on Friday evening after leading 1-0 at the break.
Wits have had a hectic period of late as apart from playing Premiership fixtures they have also been campaigning in the CAF Confederation Cup competition. They last played on Tuesday night when they held the title-chasing Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-all draw.
City have had their fair share of problems under new coach Jan Olde Riekerink and came into the match without any form - they had failed to score in any of their last three games.
Passes on both sides were mostly wayward in the opening minutes and no real scoring opportunities were created.
As first-half play took its course, there was a stark difference in the playing styles. Wits' game plan was based on long-ball ploys which proved penetrative but upfront the strikers appeared goal-shy as they opted to pass to supporting players.
City, on the other hand, relied on a short passing game and they were particularly effective down the left flank where the Wits defence were called on to check sorties around the fringes of the penalty area.
As the match approached the halfway mark of the first half, City tried two long-range shots at goal but both efforts were off target. City also created one half-chance at this stage, but Wits' central defence saw off the threat.
By this time City were enjoying 64% possession but Wits staged a telling counter-attack which turned the match on its head. City failed to deal with two excellent long passes and then their central defence was caught napping when Zimbabwean Terrence Dzvukamanja teed off from outside the penalty area for Wits' opening goal. His shot flew well wide of the diving Peter Leeuwenburgh, the City goalkeeper (1-0).
The goal seemed to inspire Wits' attack with a greater sense of urgency in the next seven minutes they were presented with three scoring chances, one of which superbly cleared by Leeuwenburgh.
In the 40th minute, City's Ebrahim Seedat picked up a second yellow card and referee Victor Hlungwani sent him packing after brandishing the red card.
Wits came close yet again on the stroke of halftime with their 10th shot at goal as City's defence battled to cope with the unrelenting pressure.
At the start of the second half, 10-man City seemed to hold their own and even created one clear-cut chance but the diving Wits' keeper Ricardo Goss averted danger by cutting off a threatening cross in the penalty area.
Just ahead of the hour mark, Wits forced two corners in quick succession and the second, taken by Sameehg Doutie, was well met with a header by Thulani Hlatshwayo who rose above the defence to bag his side's second goal (2-0).
Four minutes later Shane Roberts was fractionally wide for City as the Wits defence failed to cut off a raid down the left flank.
Given this 2-0 cushion, Wits managed to impose themselves on the match before running out deserving 2-0 winners.
City will now have a Christmas break before they resume their PSL campaign at the Cape Town Stadium against Baroka FC on January 5.
Wits, however, won't have much time to enjoy the festive period because they have a home CAF Confederation Cup against Libya's Al Nasr on December 29.