Leonardo Castro and Hendrick Ekstein both scored second-half goals to guide Kaizer Chiefs to a 2-0 victory over Bidvest Wits in their Absa Premiership encounter on Wednesday night.
Chiefs came into the fixture looking to bounce back after defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend, and were desperate for a result as they look to claw their way up from the eighth position they were in prior to kick-off.
Table-toppers Wits, on the other hand, were also keen to pick up the three points in order to extend their lead over Orlando Pirates, who beat Chippa United 4-2 on Tuesday night to cut the gap to just two points.
Gavin Hunt’s men came out on top in this fixture earlier on in the season as they beat a Chiefs side by three goals to one, then led by Giovanni Solinas.
Wits started the game on the front foot and came close to taking the lead after just four minutes, but Sfiso Hlanti’s powerful strike from distance flew just over the crossbar.
Middendorp’s team started to grow into the game and created their first opening with 20 minutes played as Khama Billiat was set up by Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, but the former Mamelodi Sundowns man fired wide.
Both teams were struggling to create any clear-cut chances in what was proving to be a very tight and tactical first half.
0-0 at the break with neither side doing enough to be in front at the interval.
Chiefs came out fighting in the second stanza and after a tight opening 10 minute they took the lead through Castro. The Colombian got on the end of a Ntiya-Ntiya cross, making no mistake with the finish with 58 minutes played.
The game opened up from then on as the home side pushed forward in search of an equaliser, which left space behind for the pacey Chiefs frontline.
Chiefs eventually took advantage of this as some brilliant link-up play involving Castro and Parker saw the latter slide through a cross which was tapped home by Ekstein on the 78-minute mark.
Wits were then reduced to 10 men in injury time as Robin Johannes received his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
Amakhosi held on for a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over the log leaders Wits, who now hold only a three-point advantage over second-placed Orlando Pirates.
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