Downs outsmart Clever Boys
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.