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Sun Jun 26 22:47:22 CAT 2016

Wits back on top of PSL standings after 3-1 win over Chippa

Mark Gleeson | 11 January, 2016 07:50
Elias Gasper Pelembe of Bidvest Wits and Nkosinathi Mthiyane of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership match between Chippa United and Bidvest Wits at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on January 10, 2016 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image by: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images / Gallo Images

Bidvest Wits went back to the top of the Premier Soccer League standings as they beat 3-1 at Chippa United 3-1 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday afternoon to open up a two-point gap with their teenage prodigy Phakamani Mahlambi emphasising his potential in the victory.

Wits advanced to 29 points‚ taking advantage of points dropped by Mamelodi Sundowns in their goalless draw against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday night.

Mahlambi‚ whose heroics at the recent African Under-23 Championships was a catalyst for South Africa’s qualification for the Rio Olympics‚ had Wits ahead after just eight minutes‚ set up by their debutant striker James Keene but creating his chance with a neat body swerve to see off one defender and then hitting home from inside the penalty area.

Keene got a debut goal at the start of the second half as he tucked away a set up from Buhle Mkhwanazi’s brave header.

But Chippa were back in the contest after a smart back heel from Andile Mbenyane to Nkosinathi Mthiyane’s 53rd minute free kick that slipped through the legs of Wits goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs and just crept over the line.

They then had a strong passage of play with three chances from Okwuosa before a left-foot cracker from Ben Motshwari sealed the game for Wits. He rifled home a loose clearance from Ugonna Uzochukwu to put pay to home hopes.

Chippa did several efforts in the first half but without causing much alarm to their visitors but were much more dangerous once they were behind in the second half and threw players forward. Aristide Bance and William Thwala were their most enterprising players but wide of the target and Thamsanqa Sangweni’s appearance in the second half added more bite to their midfield.

A reckless challenge on the edge of his penalty area by Chippa captain James Okwuosa not only gave away a dangerous free kick – which Dane Klate hit straight at the goalkeeper – but also earned the Nigerian defender a yellow card just before half-time. It is his fourth of the season and means he is now suspended for Chippa’s trip to Lamontville Golden Arrows in Durban next weekend in what is a major blow.

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