Wits beat defending champs 2-1 UP-Tuks

Wits beat defending champs 2-1 UP-Tuks

Tuks-v-Wits-VF710-642x330Wits kept their play-off hopes alive with a 2-1 win over defending champions UP-Tuks thanks to a late strike by Wonderboy Frank.

Frank’s 94th minute winner shocked the Pretoria side in a game which was a seesaw affair from the first whistle. The Joburg side are ow level on points with Tuks and VUT on the standings. Wits had the game’s first opportunity in the sixth minute with a free kick just outside the Tuks’ box, but no one could get on the end of the cross. At that stage possession was fairly equal between the two teams.

Two minutes later the Joburg team were again on attack with Gift Baloyi and Mahle Mtabane combining well, however, a stray pass by Baloyi put an end to what was a promising move. Tuks struggled to establish their game in that opening 15 minutes. A back pass in the 21st minute then gave Tuks an indirect free kick in the Wits box, but they could not take advantage with Jeremiah Nkwana’s shot going wide.

It was the away team who got the breakthrough just two minutes later when Muzimkhulu Nhlengethwa did well to get on the end of a Baloyi chip to ease a shot behind David Ribero for the game’s first goal. Tuks stared to dominate the game from the half-hour mark and had two chances soon after each other to equalise. The first fell to Nkwana, whose free kick from nearly 40m out almost embarrassed Wits’ keeper Brylon Petersen. A minute later it was Frank Mpedi’s turn to cause Petersen some trouble when his header from a cross was well saved by the keeper.

With less than five minutes until half-time, Nicholas Killas hit the Wits’ crossbar with his header from a Nkwana free kick, however the offside flag went up moments earlier. Wits took their slender lead into the break after nearly giving the home side a gift with an own goal moments earlier. Claudio De Almeida had a great chance in front of goal in the opening stages of the second half, but he failed to get contact on the ball right in front of Petersen’s goal.

However, a few minutes later it was that man Nkwana again who found the back with a great shot from a free kick just outside the Wits’ box to bring the scores level. With less than 30 minute left in the game, both teams missed great chances to go in front. De Almeida had his shot saved before Frank’s shot at the opposite end of the park went well over the crossbar. With the game approaching the final 20 minutes, it seemed both teams were falling victim to the speed in the first half as they struggled to find a way pass each other’s defence. With both teams squandering numerous chances in the final minutes and just when the game looked like it was ending in a draw, Frank stepped up with a beauty of a shot to clinch the three points for his team.

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