Khumalo, Keene take Wits to crucial win over SuperSport – ABSA Premiership 2017/18
James Keene of Bidvest Wits challenged by Onismor Bhasera and Dean Furman of Supersport United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Bidvest Wits and Supersport United at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 10 January 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jan 10, 2018. 21:24
First-half goals from Bongani Khumalo and James Keene saw Bidvest Wits defeat SuperSport United 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match in Johannesburg on Wednesday evening.
The result at Bidvest Stadium is of major significance to the Clever Boys: it lifted them out of last place on the log, broke a seven-game winless streak and was the first time they have scored two goals in a league match since drawing 2-2 with Free State Stars back in August.
Matsatsantsa, meanwhile, remain in 12th place after seeing their winless streak extended to seven league matches.
Wits looked full of intent from the first whistle and very nearly claimed the lead in the fourth minute, with Lehlohonolo Majoro first denied by a brilliant save from Riyaad Pieterse, before striking the post with a follow-up effort.
On 16 minutes the Clever Boys claimed the ascendancy through Bongani Khumalo, who controlled a knock-down from fellow defender Thulani Hlatshwayo at a corner kick, before dispatching a shot into the back of the net.
Three minutes later it was 2-0, with Hlatshwayo providing another assist with a header down the right channel which allowed striker James Keene to hold off Azubuike Egwuekwe before firing a low shot through the legs of Pieterse from a tight angle.
In the 27th minute the hosts almost racked up a third goal, with Hlatshwayo providing a great ball into the box from out wide on the right – Khumalo redirected it toward goal, but was denied by a sharp save from United’s ‘keeper.
SuperSport looked to boost their attack by sending on Kingston Nkhatha in place of Teboho Mokoena at the start of the second half, but the Wits defence looked more than capable of handling the new threat.
In fact, by the midway point of the second stanza the visitors had used all three of their substitutions, with Sipho Mbule and Thabo Mnyamane joining the fray in the place of Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Jeremy Brockie respectively.
Only in the 77th minute did Matsatsantsa finally threaten to pull a goal back, with Sifiso Hlanti’s poor touch allowing Thuso Phala a sight of goal, but the attacker pulled his effort wide of the mark.
Bidvest Wits (2) 2 (Khumalo 16’, Keene 19’)
SuperSport United 0
Wits: Keet, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Khumalo, Hlanti, Pule (Klate 90’), Claasen, Gyimah, Myeni, Majoro (Mhango 90+1′), Keene (Monare 84’)
SuperSport: Pieterse, Nhlapo, Kekana, Egwuekwe, Bhasera, Phala, Letsholonyane (Mbule 67’), Furman, Modiba, Mokoena (Nkhatha 46’), Brockie (Mnyamane 67’)