Wasteful Wits title dream fades as they draw another blank

Keagan Ritchie of Bidvest Wits challenged by Bandile Shandu of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Maritzburg United and Bidvest Wits at Tuks Stadium, Pretoria on 23 August 2020 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Wits are eight points behind Kaizer Chiefs and there are only four games left to go now in their 2019/20 Absa Premiership season.

Bidvest Wits’ slim Absa Premiership title chances have all-but disappeared after they spurned a host of opportunities in a goalless draw with Maritzburg United at TUKS Stadium on Monday afternoon.

READ MORE: Five things we learned from the Absa Premiership this weekend.

Wits moved above SuperSport United to third in the table, but Gavin Hunt’s side trail leaders Kaizer Chiefs by eight points, with four games left to play in the 2019/20 campaign.

The Clever Boys’ main problem all season has been an inability to take their chances, and this was highlighted again in this match. In the 15th minute, as Terrence Dzvukumanja’s fine pass sent Rowan Human clear on goal.

The 19 year-old had grabbed his first professional goal in Friday’s 2-1 win over AmaZulu, but here his low shot was blocked by Richard Ofori. Kgaogelo Sekgota couldn’t quite get to the rebound, but the ball fell kindly for Dzvukumanja, whose shot was blocked.

Dzvukumanja and Sekgota were linking  well in attack, and the Zimbabwean’s flick on fell for Sekgota on the wing in the 19th minute, but his cross was well-gathered by Ofori.

Haashim Domingo’s shot was deflected wide in the 22nd minute and two minutes later, Dvukumanja’s effort flew over the bar from the edge of the box.

United didn’t create much but did improve after the first cooling break. Thabiso Kutumela scored a cracking equaliser in Friday’s 2-2 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns, but the Maritzburg attacker couldn’t repeat the trick in the 34th minute here, firing over after some quickfire passing.

Human missed two fine opportunities in about two minutes at the start of the second half. In the 53rd minute, he played a lovely pass to Thabang Monare, who crossed for Sekgota, whose lay off found Human, but the youngster put his shot inches wide of the post.

Just after that, the Wits attacker sprinted onto a fine through ball and poked his shot past Ofori, but the wrong side of the post again.

Hunt made a triple substitution in the 57th minute, taking off Domingo, Sekgota and Monare, and bringing on Deon Hotto, Sameehg Doutie and Mpho Mathebula.

Eric Tinkler then made a double substitution of his own, bringing on Keagan Buchanan and Pogiso Sanoka for Kwanda Mngonyama and Bandile Shandu.

Wits came even closer to scoring in the 64th minute, as a cross from Dzvukumanja was flicked goalwards by Doutie, and beat Ofori, but Dan Morgan cleared off the line.

At the other end, Kutumela got past Ricardo Goss, but Wits were able to hack the ball clear.

Monday afternoon’s other match also finished in a draw as AmaZulu took the lead twice but were pegged back on both occasions in a 2-2 draw with Bloemfontein Celtic at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

 

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