Absa Premiership

Wits edge Chiefs, advance to TKO final

2017-11-18 17:44
James Keene (Gallo)

Cape Town - Bidvest Wits secured their place in the final of the 2017 Telkom Knockout with a hard-fought 1-0 win over a 10-man b at the BidVest Stadium on Saturday.

AS IT HAPPENED: WITS 1-0 KAIZER CHIEFS

Wiseman Meyiwa's sending off for a stamp on Daine Klate led directly to James Keene opening the scoring on 28 minutes for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

Wits will now play the winner of the second semi-final between Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic.

The hosts started strongly with Amr Gamal twisting and turning Eric Mathoho on the right flank before forcing Itumeleng Khune into a good save at his near post.

Philani Zulu fired harmlessly wide of Darren Keet at the other end after a neat backheel to set the player through from Bernard Parker.

Mathoho was then well placed to head clear a dangerous Klate cross from the left before Khune comfortably saved a long-range effort from on 15 minutes during a period of good pressure from Wits.

Gamal went down in the box under a challenge from Mathoho but the referee waved play on, much to the frustration of Gavin Hunt, whose may well feel aggrieved after watching replays of the incident.

Wits continued to look good, with Xola Mlambo creating two good chances in the space of a minute midway through the first half, but on both occasions, the Chiefs defence contrived to clear the ball from danger.

A 23rd minute free-kick from the left from Tshabalala was somehow bundled over the Wits goal by Mathoho from point-blank range, and Wits were then further buoyed when Meyiwa was then sent off with a straight red for stamping on Klate as he writhed around on the ground following a heavy collision with Willard Katsande.

Wits took advantage of their extra man immediately as the resultant free-kick from Ntshangase was swung into the left side of the box where Buhle Mkhwanazi headed the ball back across for Keene who looped his header back across goal beat Khune.

Maluleka tried to beat Keet with an audacious effort from the half-way line before Mathoho did well to get ahead of Keene as he looked to connect to a Klate delivery, with Wits ending the first half as the team on top.

Chiefs coach Steve Komphela brought on Andrés Páez for Daniel Cardoso at the start of the second half as he tried to account for being a man down.

But it was Khune who was called into action first, albeit with a comfortable save from a Mkhwanazi header.

Paez then found the back of the net but play had already been called back with Tshabalala off-side before he laid on the cross from the left.

Philani Zuma should have done better with a curled effort on 66 minutes from the edge of the box while Paez was inches to connecting to a Shabba delivery at the back post on the right-hand side.

Chiefs had certainly upped the tempo as they went in search of an equaliser, and Sandile Hlanti was well placed to block a Katsande headed from a 71st minute free-kick.

Keet then was forced into a good save with his feet from a one-on-one situation with Zuma as he raced onto a good through pass by Tshabalala.

The Wits goalkeeper next made an incredible one-handed, point blank save to deny Katsande heading in an equaliser from close range.

Amakhosi continued to dominate the second half and play the ball around well, but ultimately time was against them and they failed to break down their opponents.

Their final chance of the tie saw Reeve Frosler loft the ball onto the Wits crossbar with Keet beaten after he had come out to punch the ball away.

Wits will now play the winner of Sunday's second semi-final featuring Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic.

 

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