Local News 23.8.2016 09:42 pm

Wits see off Kaizer Chiefs

Thulani Hlatshwayo  of Bidvest Wits (3) celebrates a goal with teammates at Bidvest Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Thulani Hlatshwayo of Bidvest Wits (3) celebrates a goal with teammates at Bidvest Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Bidvest Wits laid down a statement of intent in the Absa Premiership title race on Tuesday, taking down Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in their season opener at Milpark.

Elias Pelembe and captain Thulani Hlatshwayo got the goals for Wits and while Lorenzo Gordinho pulled one back for Chiefs late on, it was Wits who took the spoils.

Steve Komphela picked just one of his new signings in his starting line-up, former Sundowns captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele slotting in at centre back alongside Gordinho.

Hunt, by contrast, threw four new men into the mix, Gabadinho Mhango and Eleazar Rodgers starting up front, and Xola Mlambo and Thabang Monare partnering in central midfield.

Wits were the more coherent outfit from the start. A deft flick from Daine Klate in the 5th minute sent Mhango scampering through, but his cross was too close to Itumeleng Khune.

In the 12th minute, Wits looked to have a decent shout for a penalty as a cross from Mhango appeared to strike Gordinho on the arm, but referee Victor Gomes decided against pointing to the spot.

A minute late, Klate’s cross was headed off-target by Rodgers. Pelembe then set up Mhango with another chance, but the Malawian shot wide.

Wits finally took the lead in the 34th minute, as a fantastic cross from Sifiso Hlanti was met by an equally fine header from Pelembe. Pelembe was inspired now, and totally embarrassed George Lebese down the right wing, before his cross was headed over his own bar by Kgotso Moleko.

In the 41st minute, Wits almost added a second as a goalmouth scramble saw Rodgers toe poke the ball against a sprawling Khune.

Wits continued to dominate after the break, Mhango a constant menace down the left wing. Chiefs did finally create a chance in the 57th minute, William Twala blazing well over.

Komphela brought on Emmanuel Letlotlo for Lebese a minute later, the latter having endured a torrid evening.

But it was Wits who doubled their lead, Thulani Hlatshwayo heading in Klate’s corner completely unmarked at the back post in the 65th minute. .

Komphela made more changes, throwing in Lewis Macha for George Maluleka and Edward Manqele for Bernard Parker.

And Chiefs did pull one goal back in the 81st minute, Lorenzo Gordinho heading in William Twala’s free kick.

Letlotlo chiped a good chance over the bar in stoppage, time, but a draw would have been more than Chiefs deserved.

poll

results

FS Stars 0-2 Chiefs
Arrows 1-1 SuperSport Utd
Baroka 1-4 Chippa Utd
Highlands 1-1 CT City

fixtures

Arrows vs Chippa Utd
FS Stars vs Maritzburg Utd
P Stars vs Celtic
Chiefs vs Ajax CT

psl log

# Team GP Pts
1 Kaizer Chiefs 5 10
2 Arrows 5 10
3 Orlando Pirates 4 8
4 Cape Town City 5 8
5 Polokwane City 5 8
6 Chippa United 3 7
7 Bidvest Wits 3 7
8 SuperSport United 5 6
9 Platinum Stars 4 5
10 Highlands Park 4 4
11 Maritzburg Utd 5 4
12 Baroka FC 5 4
13 Ajax Cape Town 4 2
14 Free State Stars 5 2
15 Sundowns 1 1
16 Bloem Celtic 3 1