Another convincing win for Wits
Mzwanele Mahashe (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Bidvest Wits claimed yet another convincing win in the Absa Premiership when they beat a visiting Santos side 3-1 at the Bidvest stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
With the win, Wits climb five places from 12th to seventh on the log.
It was a bizarre match for Wits as neither produced anything close to quality football in the first half.
The home side were fortunate to score an early goal through a set-piece, and for close to an hour both sides played exceptionally badly.
It was only when Wits scored their second goal late in the second half that they began to look they knew what they were doing. For most of the match both sides were guilty of poor execution and looking clueless on attack.
Wits scored the opening goal in the 10th minute after they were awarded a free kick just outside the Santos box. Midfielder Sifiso Myeni sent the ball into the Santos penalty area and Mzwanele Mahashe headed past the visiting keeper Lee Langeveldt to make it 1-0 to Wits.
Both teams struggled to find any kind of rhythm. Santos looked the more enterprising on attack, despite creating few chances themselves.
After the early goal from 'The Clever Boys', a period of not-so-clever football was to follow. Wits failed to hold onto the ball in the midfield and had to rely on rare counter attacks.
The only player on the pitch who showed real skill was Wits midfielder Thando Mngomeni. He made some good turns and held the ball up well for the home side in an otherwise poor first half display.
Wits would go into the break feeling very fortunate to be a goal up, as neither side looked close to scoring from open play.
Santos should have had their equaliser in the 55th minute. Defender Vuyisile Wana was left one-on-one with Wits keeper Darren Keet, with Keet pulling off an excellent save with his first real test of the match.
Wits finally took some initiative in the 68th minute when they landed a succession of passes and scored their second goal. Wits striker Sifiso Vilakazi's shot from inside the box was blocked by Santos keeper Musa Ongao, and Bhongolwethu Jayiya was on hand to slot home the rebound to give the home side a two goal advantage.
After Wits scored their second they seemed to finally show some energy and creativity in attack.
Wits were warded a penalty in the 78th minute. Stanton Fredericks stepped up to take the penalty and calmly banged in the third for Wits.
Santos scored a consolation goal in the 89th minute. Santos took a quick corner and Erwin Isaacs headed a goal and make it 3-1 to Wits.
The performance of the home side will be of much concern to coach Roger De Sa, but it shows the potential Wits have after playing so poorly for most of the game and still scoring three goals.