Johannesburg - Sibusiso Vilakazi’s hat-trick inspired Bidvest Wits to a 4-2 win over Ajax Cape Town at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The result sees the Clever Boys move up to second on the Absa Premiership log, 11 points adrift of leaders Kaizer Chiefs. The Urban Warriors are fourth, a further three points back.
After a quiet opening, the match came to life on 11 minutes when Bidvest Wits claimed the lead. Vincent Pule provided a low cross from the left which was palmed away by goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola but rebounded off Mosa Lebusa and fell into the path of Sibusiso Vilakazi, who easily finished from close range for his first league goal of 2014/15.
Wits doubled their advantage two minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half. Ben Motshwari’s corner kick found the head of Thulani Hlatshwayo, whose powerful downward header beat Jaakkola to make it 2-0.
The Urban Warriors reduced the deficit to 2-1 through a brilliant solo goal from Nazeer Allie in the 63rd minute. The defender powered forward and struck home a long range shot via the underside of the crossbar for just his second goal in his 10 years as a professional with the Cape club.
However, the home side restored a two-goal advantage just eight minutes later. Substitute Jabu Shongwe’s goal-bound shot was blocked by Lebusa, but the loose ball fell kindly for an unmarked Vilakazi, who easily steered home a low shot for his second of the night.
Ajax responded by sending on Clifford Mulenga and Noah Sadaoui from the bench. The latter brought the score to 3-2 when he unconvincingly converted a penalty. The spot kick was a harshly-awarded one, with Franklin Cale’s shot hitting Hlatshwayo and rebounding onto the arm of Siyabonga Nhlapo.
Wits wrapped up the points three minutes into injury time when Sthembiso Ngcobo put Vilakazi in on goal and the Bafana Bafana player dummied his way past Jaakkola before shooting into an empty net to bring up his hat-trick and make it 4-2.
Wits (2) 4 (Vilakazi 11’ 71’ 90+3’, Hlatshwayo 43’)
Ajax Cape Town (0) 2 (Allie 63’, Sadaoui 83’ pen)
Wits: Josephs, Nhlapo, Kwakman (Ntshangase 21’), Mkhwanazi, Hlatshwayo, Pule, Zuke, Vilakazi, Motshwari, Botes (Ngcobo 80’), Katongo (Shongwe 66’)
Ajax: Jaakkola, Lolo, Allie, Mobara, Lebusa, Ncube (Mulenga 74’), Mzwakali (Ngalande 58’), Graham, Scott, Cale, Nkoana (Sadaoui 74’)