Wits win thanks to Ngcobo’s brace

Sithembiso Ngcobo scored a brace as Bidvest Wits edged out Mpumalanga black Aces 2-1 in their Absa Premiership encounter at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Tendai Ndoro pulled one goal back for AmaZayoni just before the break but the Clever Boys were able to sustain the pressure in the second half to hold on for maximum points.

Gavin Hunt’s side opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Ngcobo sprung the offside trap to run onto a long pass from Calvin Kadi before lobbing the ball over Bafana Nhlapo and into an empty net.

Ndoro almost restored parity at the other end just two minutes later when he was put through on the right, but his effort was tipped wide of the post by Moeneeb Josephs.

Wits came close to doubling their lead in the 14th minute when Jabulani Shongwe unleashed a solid volley from just outside the box, but his effort flew over the crossbar.

However, the second goal arrived just a minute later when Ngcobo latched onto a lobbed pass from Asive Langwe before firing past Nhlapo from inside the box.

The former Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu forward was denied a chance to go for his hat-trick as he made way for Ryan Chapman in the 33rd minute after sustaining an injury.

Chapman almost announced his introduction with a goal just three minutes later when he was released by Sibusiso Vilakazi on the left, but his low shot was kept out by Nhlapo.

Aces pulled one goal back four minutes before the break when Wits failed to clear their lines, allowing Abia Nale to pick out Ndoro, who headed past josephs from close range.

The second half saw AmaZayoni pushing flat for the equaliser but their first real chance came from a setpiece in the 60th minute when Mbulelo Mabizela headed wide from Clifford Ngobeni’s corner.

Aces were then denied twice in quick succession as Josephs dived low to his right to keep out a shot from Thabo Qalinge in the 73rd minute before reacting quickly to deflect Themba Zwane’s effort onto the crossbar.

With Aces committing numbers forward, Gavin Hunt’s side had an opportunity to strike on the counter in the 82nd minute when Chapman was put through on the right side of the box, but e dragged his shot wide of the far post.

AmaZayoni’s final chance to force a draw came in the second minute of added time when Methodi Mwanjale unleashed a solid strike from just outside the box, but his shot was parried to safety by Josephs as Wits held on for the 2-1 win.

Mpumalanga Black Aces (1) 1 (Ndoro 41’)

Bidvest Wits (2) 2 (Ngcobo 9’ 15’)

Mpumalanga Black Aces: Nhlapo, Mabaso, Mwanjali, Mabizela, Ngalo, Ngobeni (Okonkwo 89’), Zuke, Zwane (Masina 82’), Ndoro, Nale, Qalinge

Bidvest Wits: Josephs, Mngonyama, Bhasera, Gumede, Langwe (Isaacs 60’), Nhlapo, Vilakazi, Madubanya, Shongwe, Ngcobo (Chapman 33’), Kadi (Booth 83’)