Bidvest Wits clinch Absa Premiership title

James Keene and Daine Klate © Gallo Images
James Keene and Daine Klate © Gallo Images

Bidvest Wits clinched their first ever Absa Premiership title after beating Polokwane City 2-0 at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Clever Boys won the title after Mamelodi Sundowns drew with Maritzburg United, while Rise and Shine remain sixth on the league table.

The home side got off to a great start as James Keene headed Elias Pelembe’s cross to make it 1-0 to Wits just three minutes into the match.

The English striker came close to doubling his side’s lead in the 14th minute, but he narrowly missed his Wits teammate Daine Klate’s great cross.

The Rise and Shine also looked threatening each time they pushed forward and they were unfortunate not to equalise just before the half-hour mark.

Bongani Khumalo and his fellow Wits teammates had to be alert and the former made a great defensive block to deny Polokwane’s Simphiwe Mngomezulu.

Wits then regain control of the match towards the halftime break, but the Polokwane defence which was led by Thapelo Tshilo was able to contain the home side.

The Clever Boys were leading 1-0 during the halftime break thanks to Keene’s well-taken header following a tightly contested first-half.

Once again the home side started brightly, but this time Polokwane goalkeeper George Chigova produced a good save to deny Mogakolodi Ngele immediately after the restart.

However, the Zimbabwe international was beaten on the hour-mark when Klate scored with a left-footed effort to make it 2-0 to Wits with Ngele providing an assist.

The momentum was now with the Clever Boys and they nearly extended their lead in the 72nd minute, but the Rise and Shine defence did well to stop Pelembe and Keene.

Keene then had another chance to score in the late minutes of the game, but the striker was denied by Chigova from a one-on-one situation.

Wits held onto their healthy lead in the closing stages of the encounter and they ran out 2-0 winners on the night.

Wits (1) 2 (Keene 3′, Klate 60′)

Polokwane (0) 2

Wits: Keet, Hlanti, Hlatshwayo, Frosler, Khumalo, Pelembe (Pule 88′), Scott, Klate, Monare, Ngele (Ntshangase 79′), Keene (Rodgers 90′).

Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Phiri, Hlongwane, Tshilo, Mngomezulu, Ramagalela, Tema (Maponyane 83′), Vilakazi, Manaka (Tlolane 65′), Musona (Ndou 48′).

Sourced from the PSL website.

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