Ten-man Wits too clever for Baroka, stay alive in league title race
JOHANNESBURG – Wits kept their slim chances of challenging for the Premiership alive as they hammered Baroka FC 3-1 in the penultimate round at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.
With this victory, Wits amassed 51 points, and remained third on the log standings, while pacesetters Orlando Pirates are on 54.
After being denied a legitimate goal that could have consolidated their league aspirations in their 1-1 draw with SuperSport United by referee Phelelani Ndaba, Wits came into this encounter with mere aspirations of being in the hunt for a continental finish.
Speak about luck not being on their side, the Clever Boys also missed out on benefiting from Mamelodi Sundowns’ case, after they were found guilty of fielding an ineligible Wayne Arendse when the two teams met in Atteridgeville last year.
Sundowns and Arendse were merely sanctioned to pay the sitting by the Disciplinary Committee, while many were expecting the former to be deducted points, which would be handed to the Clever Boys.
With those two disappointments lingering at the back of their minds, Wits started the match at a relative tortoise pace as Bakgaga took a surprise dominance earlier on. Against the run of play, the visitors should have taken the lead as Mduduzi Mdantsane’s point-blank curler went a few inches wide from Ricardo Goss’ far post.
Shortly after, Mdantsane had another opportunity to put Baroka in the driving seat, but his dipping curler skied into the stands.
Striker Lehlohonolo Majoro would put on his scoring boots and come back to haunt Baroka and Mdantsane for their missed chances.
Majoro got on to the end of a pass from the engine room, before leaving goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze on the ground to slide the ball into the empty despite pressure from Vusi Sibiya.
The Clever Boys would, however, finish the first stanza with 10 players after Goss received his marching orders following a late tackle on Mdantsane from a one-on-one duel, with Darren Keet taking the field in the place of Majoro.
Keet, whose contract with the club expires at the end of the season, will probably play his last game for Wits on the last day of the season against Golden Arrows.
The visitors’ numerical advantage also failed to come to the fore as they were napping at back and were rudely punished by Cole Alexander, who unleashed a grass-cutter into Chipezeze’s bottom corner.
But the home team would put the foot off the gas, and Bakgaga caught them on a break to finish the play with a delightful strike from Tshediso Platjie.
But Sibiya would undo all the good job as he brought down a harmless Terrence Dzvukamanja in the box.
Robyn Johannes stepped up and his effort kissed the roof of the net.@Mihlalibaleka