Bidvest Wits beat Black Leopards 1-0 in a thrilling Absa Premiership clash at Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday evening.
While there was only the one goal through Terrence Dzvukamanja, that doesn’t tell the whole story of two teams who put everything on the line for different reasons.
Wits remain in sixth place following the win, but close the gap on league leaders Kaizer Chiefs to 10 points. Leopards remain rooted to the bottom of the standings and three points from safety following another defeat.
The game was full of intensity from the get go and Deon Hotto came within inches of finding the back of the net with just four minutes on the clock, but his curling effort from range whistled inches wide of goal.
Leopards were the masters of their own downfall away to Baroka FC this past weekend and an individual error almost resulted in another goal in the 11th minute in Braamfontein.
Lidoda Duvha goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka cleared the ball straight at Dzvukamanja and the Zimbabwean’s audacious header almost found the back of the: looping just past the post.
Leopards first shot in anger came five minutes later through a familiar source as Thabo Matlaba let fly a trademark rocket from range, but Brandon Petersen was up to the task.
Wits deservedly hit the front on the half-hour mark. Hotto’s pin-point cross picked out Dzvukamanja at the far post and the forward made no mistake in finding the back of the net.
The hosts continued to dominate proceedings and after Thabang Monare fired his rasping shot inches wide, Muleka pulled off a stunning save of his own on the cusp of halftime to keep out Hotto from close range, as the Clever Boys carried a narrow lead into break.
Following a rather cagey start to the second-half, the came really livened up in the closing stages with a flurry of chances at either end.
Haashim Domingo and Elias Pelembe rattled the crossbar for the hosts and after the aforementioned midfielder failed to double the Clever Boys lead with the goal at his mercy, Lidoda Duvha had time for one more chance. Mwape Musonda got that chance, but Petersen got down well to keep out the Zambian’s header with what was the final play of the game.
Bidvest Wits (1) 1 (Dzvukamanja 30′)
Black Leopards (0) 0
Bidvest Wits: Petersen; Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Gordinho, Macheke, Alexander, Monare, Sekgota (Pelembe 71′), Hotto, Dzvukamanja (Domingo 56′), Eva Nga (Nonyane 85′).
Black Leopards: Muleka; Zulu, Gyimah, Masia, Mudau, Abubakar, Bereng, Matlaba (Hlongwane 66′), Mokoena (Kapinga 65′), Mncwango (T.Ndlovu 79′), Musonda.