Cape Town - James
Keene scored the only goal of the game as Bidvest Wits beat Orlando Pirates at
the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday night to narrow the gap to Absa Premiership
leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to just four points.
Clever Boys had to work hard for their victory over a Buccaneers team which
came into the clash on the back of a three-game winning streak in the league,
but their reward is the rejuvenation of their title hopes as they took
advantage of Sundowns’ surprise loss at home to Bloemfontein Celtic.
started the match brightly and Elias Pelembe almost opened the scoring in the
11th minute, getting away a shot from a tight angle on the left of
the penalty area which looked destined for the back of the net until goalkeeper
Brighton Mhlongo made a fine save with his legs.
through the first half Pirates almost broke the deadlock, with Luvoyo Memela
getting away a shot from the near the right by-line which had the beating of
Moeneeb Josephs but rebounded off the post and skidded out of reach of Thabo
claimed the lead in the 29th minute through striker James Keene, who
continued his prolific start to life in South African football. The Englishman
managed to squeeze the ball home from close range after a good low cross from
the right of the penalty area by Thulani Hlatshwayo.
before half time Memela was arguably lucky to stay on the field after a nasty,
over-the-top challenge on Daine Klate which could have broken the Wits
midfielder’s leg. The Pirates man received only a yellow card, while Klate was
fortunately able to play on.
dominated the play in the early stages of the second half and Wits needed
goalkeeper Josephs to make two excellent saves, first to keep out a glancing
header from Tendai Ndoro and then to palm away a low, long-range effort from
that was as close as the Soweto side came to claiming an equaliser, with Wits
able to neutralise their opponents and hold out for a hugely important victory.