Downs survive Wits fightback
Katlego Mphela (Backpage)
Nelspruit - It was a little too close a call for Mamelodi Sundowns as they just managed to sneak a 3-2 win over BidVest Wits in an Absa Premiership match played at the Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday night.
While the Brazilians may have dominated the first half, a surprising fightback from Wits in the second half almost saw the home side salvage a point.
Luckily for Downs, they were able to withstand the second half onslaught from the students and the three goals they scored in a 16 minute period in the first half were enough to hand them the three points.
The hero for the Brazilians was undoubtedly Kaltego Mpjela, who looked dangerous from the onset and it was his first half brace and immaculate finishing that saw his side to victory.
The game got off to a quick start with the first goal coming in the 13th minute. It came from a corner-kick which was whipped into the box by Lebohang Mokoena and Surprise Moriri rose highest to powerfully head home from 12-yards out, 1-0.
In the 25th minute Bafana Bafana striker Mphela doubled his side’s lead with another headed goal.
Teko Modise was the provider this time with an accurate cross into the box which found Mphela unmarked and he made no mistake heading the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, 2-0.
Three minutes later and Mphela found his second goal of the game and his side’s third when he scored in emphatic fashion with a well-worked free-kick on the edge of the 18-yard area, firing the ball low into the right corner of the goal, 3-0.
The rest of the half saw Sundowns taking their foot of the pedal as they coasted into the half-time break. For Wits, they would have to make some drastic changes at the break if they were going to turn the game around.
The second half, though, saw the Clever Boys a renewed side as they had the lion’s share of possession in the second 45 and consequently managed to find two goals.
First, in the 63rd minute former Sundowns player, Mbulelo Mabizela found Wits’ first goal when he latched onto a Sifiso Myeni cross and impressively headed home, 3-1.
Seven minutes later and Subisiso Vilakazi found Wits’ second goal after a well-worked passing move found him in some space six-yards out from goal and he made no mistake with a clinical finish, 3-2.
After that Wits continued to press forward, but couldn’t find the equalising goal as Sundowns managed to hold onto the lead and pick up all three points.
BidVest Wits (0) 2 (Mabizela 63’, Vilakazi 70’)
Mamelodi Sundowns (3) 3 (Moriri 13’, Mphela 25’ + 29’)
Wits: Murambadoro, Phungwayo, Mabizela, Spencer, Gumede, Rodrigues (Vilakazi 46’), Myeni, Sb Vilakazi (Chapman 77’), Timms, Ritson (Fredericks 46’), Jayiya
Sundowns: Sandilands, Mphahlele, Masenamela, Xulu, Mdledle, Kekana (Okpako 60’), L Mokoena (Cale 67’), Modise, Moriri, Khenyeza, Mphela (Nyatama 83’)