PSL / 24 August 2019, 3:07pm / MIHLALI BALEKA AT MAKHULONG STADIUM
BIDVEST WITS (0) (1)
ORLANDO PIRATES (0) (0)
Bidvest Wits recorded their second full points in the new season of the reserve league as they huffed and puffed to defeat Orlando Pirates 1-0 at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Having had the perfect start so far, Pirates came into this encounter on cloud nine – as they were the only side that hadn’t dropped points in the newly expanded 2019/2020 MultiChoice Diski Challenge season.
Early in the first half, the Sea Robbers nearly recorded the perfect start here, as Simiso Bophela unleashed a pin-point shot after being let loose by Wits’ defence but only for his efforts to force goalkeeper Leathan Croats into a brilliant save.
With the quick offensive approach not bearing fruits, the Buccaneers became patient looking to exploit spaces in the Clever Boys’ final third.
However, Wits’ defence kept their discipline as they knew that lapse in concentration could come back to haunt them. Such that was nearly the case when Athenkosi Mcaba brought down Simo Bophela just outside his 18-area.
Lethabo Mazibuko took the responsibility but his dipping set-piece was few inches above Croats goal-posts.
Following what appeared to be an impressive half from Croats, the Clever Boys goalkeeper nearly undid all his hard work after mis-kicking a through ball from Simiso. However, the former did enough to rescue the ball from the goal-line despite Kagiso Madisha breathing down his neck.
The second half provided a different ball game as substitute Molahlehi Khunyedi got his team’s only goal – that subsequently proved to be the winner.
Following a brilliant build-up down the left wing, Cameron Carnell delivered a telling cross that found an onrushing Khunyedi, who easily tapped in the ball past Kopano Thuntsane.
While the result of the match was more important, there was also unpleased faces from Pirates’ dugout.
Glen Salmon made his debut as the Pirates’ coach, having left the Clever Boys during the transfer window.
On the opposite dugout, sat Dillion Sheppard, who was making his debut season as the reserve team coach, having served in the development programs.
Meanwhile, Chippa United hammered Cape Town City 3-0 in the curtain raiser of the day.
It wasn’t the prettiest of performances from the Chilli Boys. However, recently retired footballer Daine Klate might start believing that he can also be triumphant in his newly found coaching career, having hammered Maritzburg United at home in his last outing.
In an encounter that didn’t have much to offer in terms of opportunities, the two sides had to dig deep if they were to get something from this game.
The Citizens came close to taking the lead in the first half, but only for attacker Jaqueel De Jager to fluff his pin-point shot after going on a one-on-one duel with Amos Mokwena.
However, in the second half, Klate’s troops flipped script and were the more determined side to break the deadlock.
And with a bit of luck, they did just that, having the Citizens’ defence unit conceded a penalty inside the box.
Diego Appolis stepped-up to take the responsibility and his strike kissed the roof of the net.
The Chilli Boys were not done as Appolis registered his brace from close range, thanks to some delightful work from Ronaldo Maarman down the flanks.
Brace hero Appolis turned provide for his team’s third, setting-up substitute Keegan Assam, who calmly finished from close-range.