Bidvest Wits claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Black Leopards at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night, with Frank Mhango’s late goal proving to be the difference between the teams.
The result took the Clever Boys up to second spot on the log with 23 points from 12 matches, while Lidoda Duvha are in last (16th) place with nine points from 12 matches.
Wits enjoyed a strong start to the game and nearly claimed the lead in the sixth minute, with Gift Motupa’s shot from just outside the 18-yard area flashing narrowly wide of the target and leaving goalkeeper Rotshidzwa Muleka stranded on his line.
A short while later a defensive error handed Simon Murray a chance but he put his effort over the crossbar, before Muleka was called on to make a fine save in another shot from the Scottish forward, as the visitors looked to capitalise on their early pressure.
Further Clever Boys chances arrived for the likes of Deon Hotto, Cole Alexander, Murray and Motupa, but a combination of poor finishing and some decent goalkeeping from Lidoda Duvha’s Muleka kept the score at 0-0 up to the halftime whistle.
The Limpopo hosts were much improved after the break and a couple of minutes before the hour mark they nearly broke the deadlock, with Eden Nene getting on the end of Tshwarelo Bereng’s free kick, only to see his downward header bounce up and over the crossbar.
Wits looked for further inspiration in attack by introducing the likes of Lehlohonolo Majoro and Frank Mhango off the bench – the latter would soon prove the game breaker, as he headed home from Elias Pelembe’s cross in the 81st minute to see the visitors go 1-0 up.
Mhango’s goal proved enough for the Johannesburg club to pick up all three points and continue their strong showing in the 2018/19 league campaign.
The teams will return to Absa Premiership action in a week and a half, with Leopards away to Maritzburg and Wits at home to Golden Arrows – both on December 12.
Black Leopards 0
Bidvest Wits (0) 1 (Mhango 81’)
Black Leopards: Muleka, Munyai, Zulu, Munganga, Katjiukua, T. Ndlovu (Hlongwane 52’), Bereng, Nene, Musonda, Kapinga, Nevhulamba (Tshepe 66’)
Bidvest Wits: Keet, Mere, Hlatshwayo, Nonyane, Hlanti, Alexander, Monare, Motupa (Mhango 72’), Hotto (Claasen 83’), Pelembe, Murray (Majoro 65’)