Not so clever from Wits as battling Baroka go top

Not so clever from Wits as battling Baroka go top

Gerald Phiri Junior (10) and teammates celebrate his goal against Wits ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Baroka FC are unlikely early leaders of the Absa Premiership after stunning Bidvest Wits 1-0 on Tuesday evening at Bidvest Stadium.

Former Wits player Gerald Phiri Jnr was the man who netted the winner for Baroka, curling home an excellent free kick, but the hero of the evening was Bakgaga goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, who made several fine saves to keep the Clever Boys at bay.

Gavin Hunt kept the same team that had beat AmaZulu 3-0 in Durban on Saturday, while Baroka made three changes to their team, including a first start in a Baroka shirt for 21 year-old Liberian winger Terrence Tisdell.

Wits had a chance as early as the eighth minute, Deon Hotto getting down the left and crossing for Mxolisi Machupu, who couldn’t connect properly. The ball did fall to Sameehg Doutie inside the area, but he chose to lay the ball off instead of shoot, and fluffed his lines.

Hotto was Wits’ main attacking outlet, and another cross from the Namibian was just about cleared from danger by Baroka’s Zimbabwean goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.

In the 41st minute, Baroka felt they should have had a penalty, as Thabang Monare appeared to handle inside the box but referee Tshidiso Maruping gave a free kick right on the edge of the box. It didn’t matter, however, as Phiri stepped up and curled the free kick over the wall and into the net.

Gavin Hunt made a double change at the break, bringing on Haashim Domingo and Gift Motupa in place of Thabang Monare and Terrence Dzvukumanja.

Wits came close to equalising in the 46th minute, as Keegan Ritchie’s free kick was well saved low down at his near post by Chipezeze. The Baroka ‘keeper then had to be alert to keep out Buhle Mkhwanazi’s header from a long throw, as the Clever Boys started to provide far more of a threat in attack.

Baroka threatened again in the 56th minute as their captain Mduduzi Mdantsane surged forwared and lashed in a shot that Brandon Petersen did well to keep out.

Wits right back Zitha Macheke had a great chance to equalise in the 64th minute, but he blazed over after the ball fell to him at a corner.

In the 65th minute, Doutie showed a fine turn of pace to run in behind the Wits defence, but again Chipezeze came to Baroka’s rescue.

The Baroka’ keeper had to be alert again to tip over in the 88th minute as Domingo’s swirling cross was threatening to dip under the crossbar.



For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.





today in print

today in print