Wits' woes deepen
Katlego Mashego (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Two second half goals condemned Wits to four matches without a win in the Premiership, as they were thrashed by 3-1 by Free State Stars at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.
Going into half-time locked at 1-1, Stars, despite playing away from home, looked the more complete team and were clinical with their finishing.
Wits made a run at scoring in the first half, but seemed to tire in the second period as Stars strengthened their grip on the encounter.
The Clever Boys had their chances though at 2-1 down, but failed to convert and dropped more valuable points at home this season.
Wits started the game moving the ball around the pitch, but their interplay was not confident and their passing was careless.
Stars worked their way into the game after an initial flurry of attacks by the home side, and were rewarded with the opener in the 24th minute.
Stars player Katlego Mashego received the ball on the edge of the area, and with time and space picked his spot in the corner of goal and rifled the ball into the net to make it 1-0 to Stars.
The visiting team's lead was wiped out in the blink of an eye, as Wits moved play straight into the Stars box from the restart. They were rewarded with a penalty, and Sifiso Vilakazi calmly slotted home from the spot to level the scores at 1-1.
Free State Stars went ahead again in the 62nd minute, as they caught Wits napping and Noah Chivuta was on hand from a Mashego cross to slot home the goal from close range.
Emile Baron was the standout player for the home side in the Wits goal, as he pulled off some good reaction saves to keep his team in the match, but his efforts were ultimately to no avail.
In the 76th minute David de Oliveira should have equalised. He made a good run into the area and from close range and with just Kennedy Mweene to beat in the Stars goal, launched his shot wildly into the stands.
In the 84th minute, Stars ended the match as a contest with their third goal. Edward Mnqele was on the end of a cross in the area, and he rounded the keeper and stuck the ball into the net to make it 3-1 and cap a resounding victory.
With the win, Stars move up to sixth on the table with 32 points after 20 games while Wits drop a spot to 9th without adding to their 26 points.