It was another tough day in the Free State for Wits coach Gavin Hunt on Sunday. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – Defending champions Bidvest Wits crashed to their fourth defeat in seven league outings following a 1-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.

Striker Roggert Nyundu scored from close range in the 80th minute, after Celtic had broken at pace from deep in their own half in an Absa Premiership match played at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein.

The match-deciding goal came 10 minutes after Wits coach Gavin Hunt had tried to upset the home team’s long-ball approach by making a double substitution, with Daylon Claasen coming on for Gabadinho Mhango and Kobamelo Kodisang on for Gerald Phiri Jnr.

Wits had the better of the first-half exchanges, with the Celtic defence stretched in a bid to find a way of neutralising the aerial and ground shooting power of the Clever Boys’ Egyptian striker Amr Gamal.

The former Al Ahly goal-getter has been a menace to most defences in the PSL and Celtic was no exception, with his header from a Reeve Frosler cross in the 27th minute drifting just wide of the home team’s cross bar.

With Wits dominating the midfield, Celtic’s best chance seemed to be on the counter-attack, and they came close in the 39th minute before defender Slavko Damjanovic cleared the danger in front of goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs.

Dean Hotto showed touches of goal-scoring promise for Celtic, but was left with too much to do on his own against a Wits defence that was out to impress, having come in for much criticism in recent times.

Celtic lost the services of hard-working defender Wandisile Letlabika early in the second half through injury after he put his body on the line to block a shot on goal from Gamal.

Wits, who remain on five points from seven games, will be at home to high-riding SuperSport United in their next league encounter on October 17, while Celtic, on nine points from six games, will be away to another in-form side, Cape Town City, on the same day.

African News Agency (ANA)