Absa Premiership

Wits regain PSL lead as Sundowns held and Pirates sunk

2019-08-15 07:13
Gavin Hunt
Gavin Hunt (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Bidvest Wits regained first place in the Absa Premiership Wednesday, while Mamelodi Sundowns conceded a late equaliser and Orlando Pirates were trounced in other matches.

Namibian Deon Hotto scored on the stroke of half-time to give Wits a 1-0 win at Polokwane City and confirm the belief of coach Gavin Hunt that his side are better away from home.

Meshack Maphangule snatched a last-minute leveller for Chippa United in a 1-1 draw at home to defending champions Sundowns, who had taken a first half lead through Lebohang Maboe.

Bradley Grobler netted in each half for SuperSport United as they thumped Pirates 3-0 with Zambian Lungu Ghampani the other scorer.

Wits lead Kaizer Chiefs and Polokwane on goal difference with each club having six points and Sundowns, Baroka and Cape Town City are two points behind.

Johannesburg-based Wits kicked off the season this month with a three-goal win at AmaZulu, then fell at home to Baroka, leaving Hunt to declare that "my team play better away".

The Hotto goal inflicted a first loss on Polokwane, who were the surprise side last season as they finished fifth with a star-less squad coached by Slovak Jozef Vukusic.

The east European mysteriously quit during the close season, saying only that "the decision was reached after consulting my family".

Setback

Serb Zlatko Krmpotic, who has worked at clubs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Botswana and Rwanda, took over and plotted two victories before the Wits setback.

In Port Elizabeth, slick short passes created the chance for Maboe to fire past Cameroon-born Chippa goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb after 35 minutes.

But Sundowns' hopes of maintaining a 100% record were dashed in the last minute when Motjeka Madisha deflected a goal-bound Maphangule shot into the corner of the net after a corner.

Meanwhile, Pretoria-based SuperSport moved a home fixture against Pirates 315 kilometres east to Nelspruit for financial gain without it affecting their performance.

SuperSport are among several Absa Premiership sides who 'sell' home fixtures and temporary host cities make an overall profit because an influx of spectators increases economic activity.

Grobler punished a crazy headed back pass to put SuperSport ahead on 35 minutes and he struck again nine minutes into the second half with a snap shot.

Having bagged a brace, the forward turned provider for the third goal with a superb long pass that sent Ghampani racing forward before firing past goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.

Play was interrupted early in the opening half when the referee forced Sandilands to change his blue jersey, believing it was too similar in colour to those worn by SuperSport.

Many on social media questioned why it took the match official 15 minutes of the match to notice the clash and the goalkeeper later called it a "strange decision".

Read more on:    supersport  |  united  |  absa premiership  |  gavin hunt  |  soccer

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Mamelodi Sundowns v AmaZulu, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v Wits, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Stellenbosch v Kaizer Chiefs, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Cape Town City, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Maritzburg United v SuperSport United, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
Chippa United v Black Leopards, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:30
Baroka FC v Golden Arrows, Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Saturday, 30 November 2019
Polokwane City v Bloemfontein Celtic, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City v Highlands Park, Cape Town Stadium 18:00
Black Leopards v Golden Arrows, Thohoyandou Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United v Stellenbosch, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:15
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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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