THOHOYANDOU – Wits secured a welcome 1-0 win over Black Leopards in a Premiership clash played at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night.
While the Clever Boys were far too good for their opponents, they made things difficult for themselves by squandering a host of scoring opportunities.
It was only a matter of time before something gave, though, and it was left to substitute Gabadinho Mhango to net the winner in the 81st minute.
Wits, after a disappointing defeat in the Telkom Knockout last week, were determined to bounce back with a positive showing.
They were out of the starting blocks in a flash against Leopards, and how the score remained goalless at halftime was a mystery. The Clever Boys created numerous chances in the opening 45 minutes, but just couldn’t pierce the opposition net.
Gift Motupa had an opportunity for Wits in the opening few minutes, but steered his effort wide of goal.
Cole Alexander then set up the Johannesburg side’s Scottish striker Simon Murray, but he could only balloon the ball over the bar.
Soon after, both Motupa and Murray had chances to give their team the lead, but they failed to make the most of it.
As the first half progressed, the scoring opportunities kept coming as Motupa headed wide and Alexander shot over the bar.
But despite their dominance of possession and territory, Wits trooped off for the break with nothing to show for their efforts.
With Lidoda Duvha struggling to find a way into the match, it was time for a change, with Lefa Hlongwane replacing Xolani Ndlovu.
But, while Leopards performed a little better in the second half, it was still Wits who created the chances.
Deon Hotto tried his luck from range for the Clever Boys with a stinging strike, but the ball flew wide of the target.
With Wits in desperate need of some quality in attack, coach Gavin Hunt sent on Lehlohonolo Majoro in place of Murray, and also took off Motupa and brought on Mhango.
The second substitution had an immediate effect when Mhango headed home soon after making an entrance as, finally, Wits’ dominance and pressure paid off.
African News Agency (ANA)