ISHMAEL MOHLABE

AmaTuks’ hopes of finishing in the top eight of the Absa Premiership were dealt a blow after they lost 2-1 to Bidvest Wits at Tuks Stadium last Wednesday.

Both teams scored in the first half, with Wits captain Sibusiso Vilakazi scoring first before AmaTuks’ Aubrey Ngoma equalised from a free kick. Papy Faty scored Wits’ winning goal in the 75th minute.

Clive Barker’s side travelled to Pretoria after a 1-0 defeat to Orlando Pirates at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday 27 April. His nephew Steve Barker’s team was confident after beating Black Leopards 3-1 at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Freedom Day.

Neither team managed a shot on goal during the first ten minutes of the game. In the 11th minute, Diphetogo “Dipsy” Selolwane shot on the edge of the box but his effort cruised over the crossbar.

Wits dominated ball possession, winning set pieces on the edge of the AmaTuks box but did not convert scoring opportunities.

Lionel Mutizwa forced Wits goalkeeper Andre Arendse, who came out of retirement for the match, to punch away a powerful shot after Mutizwa fired a shot from the box in the 28th minute. Three minutes later, Mame Niang’s headed attempt went wide after he connected with a cross from Ngoma.

In the 35th minute, Wits’ Calvin Kadi got the better of AmaTuks’ defence as he controlled the ball with his chest. Washington Arubi could only save his shot by pushing it back into the box. Vilakazi made an instantaneous follow-up to volley past Arubi to put Wits ahead.

AmaTuks had to make a forced substitution when Warren Bishop replaced Buhle Mkhwanazi who was stretchered off the pitch due to an injury.

With just five minutes to go to half time, Ngoma launched a free kick from outside the 18-yard box, beating the 45-year-old Arendse to send the university derby into the break with a 1-1 score.

After the interval, Wits dominated ball possession and controlled the ball in the midfield. In the 63rd minute, Faty saw his shot from a set piece denied by Arubi. Five minutes later, Vilakazi scored a second goal but was judged to be offside. Faty beat Arubi to give the visitors the lead again in the 74th minute.

AmaTuks tried to create opportunities to score in the last ten minutes by sending long balls into Wits’ half in an effort to find Niang to give him the opportunity to score. Wits’ defenders marked Niang carefully to prevent him from scoring.

AmaTuks face Chippa United in the penultimate game of the season on Saturday.

Photo : kickoff.com

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