Bidvest Wits kept their Absa Premiership title hopes alive after securing a narrow 1-0 victory over relegation-threatened Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday evening, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
Gavin Hunt’s side came into this encounter on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of fellow title-challengers Orlando Pirates at the Bidvest Stadium after Keegan Ritchie’s own goal.
Meanwhile, Clinton Larsen’s men ended their four-match winless run after beating AmaZulu 1-0 in Durban last week.
The two sides recently met in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final, where Chippa managed to secure a 5-3 win on penalties after playing out to a 4-4 draw after extra time at the Bidvest Stadium.
The Clever Boys came out with more intent in the opening exchanges of the game and nearly broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when captain Thulani Hlatshwayo’s header was steered against the woodwork by Chippa keeper Mbongeni Mzimela.
Wits keeper Ricardo Goss was forced into making a low save moments later to deny Thabo Rakhale’s effort at goal.
Terrence Dzvukamanja came close to breaking the deadlock on the stroke of half-time, but his curling effort sailed wide of the target.
Goss was forced into making a save early in the second half when he did well to keep out Rhulani Manzini’s free kick.
The Chilli Boys missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 57th minute after Mark Mayambela played Rakhale through on goal, but the attacker narrowly missed the bottom corner.
The visitors eventually took the lead with 15 minutes left to play when Deon Hotto latched on to a cross from Pelembe to head the ball home.
At the other end, Chippa came close to equalising when Ruzaigh Gamildien’s free kick forced Goss into making a fingertip save to deny the attacker in the closing minutes of the game.
However, Wits managed to hold on to their lead over Chippa until the final whistle to move within three points of log leaders Orlando Pirates.
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