Polokwane City captain Jabu Maluleke produced one of his trademark free kicks to clinch victory against Wits. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Log-leaders Bidvest Wits lost out on an opportunity to cement their advantage on the table as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat against 10-man Polokwane City on Friday night.

A 75th-minute goal from a free kick by midfielder Jabu Maluleke was the difference between the two sides.

The visitors had been reduced to 10 men in the 19th minute when Salulani Phiri was sent from the field for a dangerous tackle on Thabang Monare.

The defeat brings back memories of how the league champions of two seasons back suffered in their last campaign, when they narrowly avoided relegation. 

Coach Gavin Hunt will be concerned that his side have not scored in 196 minutes, since Simon Murray’s strike in a 3-0 win over AmaZulu on September 15.

Not that the Clever Boys, as Wits are known, did not have chances to score.

Mxolisi Machupa showed his intention to get on the score-sheet as early as the fifth minute, but found Polokwane keeper George Chigova in fine form.

Sifiso Hlanti and Murray (a second-half substitute for Machupa) also had strikes on the visitors’ goal, but in the end, it was a night of frustration for four-time league-winning coach Hunt.

Wits remain on 13 points, having now played seven games.

Their next league outing is an away trip to Cape Town City on October 2.

On the same date, Polokwane, who have 10 points from six matches and are now fifth on the log, will take on SuperSport United.

African News Agency (ANA)