Downs out­smart Clever Boys

CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA AT LOF­TUS VERS­FELD STA­DIUM sil­ver.sibiya@city­press.co.za

Themba Zwane 20 m Sibu­siso Vi­lakazi 36 m

It seems im­pos­si­ble for any team to stop ru­n­away log lead­ers Mamelodi Sun­downs. This is even more so af­ter Percy Tau’s ge­nius play took them to within touch­ing dis­tance of the league ti­tle, thanks to their 2-0 vic­tory over Bid­vest Wits at Lof­tus Vers­feld Sta­dium last night.

Hav­ing col­lected 52 points, Pitso Mosi­mane’s charges only need seven more to clinch the premier league. They have four games in hand to do so. A to­tal of 59 points will be enough to put the league tro­phy in the bag as second-placed Or­lando Pi­rates – who dropped points in their mid­week game – can only reach 58 points if they win all their re­main­ing four games.

Downs are the best at­tack­ing side in the Premier Soc­cer League this sea­son, with 43 goals. Most of them have come from goal poach­ers Tau and Khama Bil­liat, who have scored a re­spectable 18 be­tween them.

It was the Brazil­ians’ ninth league game with with­out a loss. Their last de­feat was in Jan­uary, to ri­vals Or­lando Pi­rates.

The first goal against Wits came in the 20th minute, when Tau dis­pos­sessed a Wits player at the cen­tre line and quickly made his way to the vis­i­tors’ 18-yard line. With Tau hav­ing done all the hard work, Themba Zwane just had to tap it in.

Tau was at it again in a play sim­i­lar to the one that pro­duced the first goal – com­ing from the mid­dle of the park. This time, he sup­plied an un­marked Sibu­siso Vi­lakazi with the ball to pun­ish his former team in the 36th minute.

The Pre­to­ria side started fir­ing on all cylin­ders and, within 10 min­utes, they could have scored two more goals. But they squan­dered their chances af­ter left-back Te­bogo Langer­man missed a sit­ter in­side the box.

Wits goal­keeper Dar­ren Keet de­nied Vi­lakazi a goal a few min­utes later, af­ter Tau had sent him the per­fect cross.

The Braam­fontein out­fit re­sponded to the chal­lenge, but their ef­forts were not enough to se­cure a goal in the first half.

The second half be­gan with the away team push­ing for their first goal, again with­out suc­cess.

On the other hand, Tau and com­pany con­tin­ued to be a thorn in the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons’ side.

Hlompho Kekana could have added a goal for the home team when he tried to chip the ball into goal from his own half, but Keet safely sent it away.

With a num­ber of missed chances from ei­ther side, the second half did not pro­duce any goals.

There were calls for a penalty when it looked like Wits’ Ed­win Gy­imah had fouled Thapelo Morena. But the man in the mid­dle awarded a cor­ner kick in­stead.

For Wits, the 2017/18 sea­son has been a tough ride, espe­cially the first half of the sea­son. Be­fore yes­ter­day’s game, the Clever Boys played five games, los­ing one, draw­ing one and win­ning three. Their loss came on Wed­nes­day to rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened Ajax Cape Town.

They re­main at num­ber 10 on the points ta­ble.

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