Bidvest Wits suffer another setback in title chase after draw against SuperSport

27 April 2019 - 20:05 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
SuperSport United midfielder and captain Dean Furman walks off the field in frustration after being sent off during an Absa Premiership match against Bidvest Wits at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on April 27 2019.
SuperSport United midfielder and captain Dean Furman walks off the field in frustration after being sent off during an Absa Premiership match against Bidvest Wits at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on April 27 2019.
Image: Dirk Kotze

The Absa Premiership title run-in will be a two horse race between Orlando Pirates and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns after Bidvest Wits were virtually eliminated from the title race.

The 1-1 draw with ten men SuperSport United at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday, where Terence Dzvukamanja was denied a legitimate goal in the 84th minute, dealt Gavin Hunt a hammer blow to their slim chances as they will only end of 54 points if they win their remaining two matches.

It is no longer in their hands because Pirates have 53 points already in the bag and the Buccaneers will have to lose their remaining matches against Cape Town City away from home and Polokwane City at home for Wits to have any realistic chance.

There is also the issue of Sundowns, who are currently on 50 points and with three matches to play against play Black Leopards away, Golden Arrows at home and Free State Stars away to wrap their season.

Nobody knows how many points Sundowns are going to end up on because they face the possibility of being docked points because of the Wayne Arendse saga that has dragged on for months and they will also have to drop points for Wits to have a sniff.

For United, they will continue to push for a top eight finish in their remaining matches against Maritzburg at home and Highlands Park away from home as they remain sixth on the standings.

The first real chance of the game fell for United when Wits goalkeeper Ricardo Goss had to stretch at full length to parry away a close range header by Bradley Grobler.

After a series of exchanges, mostly in the midfield, Wits attacking midfielder Thabang Monare tested Ronwen Williams with a direct long range shot after the hour mark but the United ‘keeper dived the right way to deal effectively with the danger.

The opening goal finally arrived after 38 minutes through an unlikely source and defender S’fiso Hlanti when he tapped the ball into an empty net after Williams failed to deal with a speculative shot from Gabadinho Mhango.

Wits’ lead did not last long as another defender Clayton Daniels ensured that they went to the break level on 1-1 when he connected with a well-taken corner kick from Modiba deep into referee’s optional time.

United came back from the second half with purpose and they missed out on an opportunity to take the lead early when Daniels missed out on his second of the night when his header went wide off the target from Modiba’s corner.

United suffered a huge blow after the hour mark when Dean Furman was sent for an early shower for a dangerous tackle on Haashim Domingo but the Wits striker should also have been disciplined for elbowing the United captain in the process.

The biggest moment of the match came in the closing stages when a shot from Dzvukamanja ricocheted off the upright and over the line but Phelelani Ndaba referee, after consultation with his far side assistant, wrongfully ruled it no goal.

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