Ten-man Wits overcome Baroka

Despite being a man down for more than a half, Bidvest Wits were able to beat Baroka FC 3-1 in an Absa Premiership match at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.

The result sees Wits remain in third position on the league table, two points behind second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns (who have played a game less) and three points behind leaders Orlando Pirates (who drew 2-2 with Cape Town City also on Saturday).

The home side started really positively and had the majority of the possession, but their touch in the final third let them down.

Nonetheless, Wits continued to push forward and almost took the lead in the 21st minute when a 22-yard free-kick from Dean Hotto rattled the top of the crossbar.

The Clever Boys did find the back of the net just after the half hour mark when Lehlohonolo Majoro broke behind the Baroka defence and showed real determination to beat the keeper in a one-on-one, 1-0.

Elias Pelembe nearly made it two for Wits in the 38th minute, but his stinging shot from the edge of the box was well-saved by the Baroka keeper.

The home side suffered a set-back a minute before the break when goalkeeper Ricardo Goss was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Mduduzi Mdatsane.

Consequently, Wits replaced goal-scorer Majoro with goalkeeper Darren Keet which allowed the ten-man side to make it to halftime with their one-goal lead intact.

Despite being a man down the Clever Boys were able to double their lead ten minutes into the second half when Cole Alexander fired home from just inside the box after some great build-up play, 2-0.

Baroka, though, were not going to go down without a fight and managed to pull a goal back in the 67th minute courtesy of a strike from Tshidisho Patjie, 2-1.

The visiting side’s joy was short-lived with Wits restoring their two-goal lead seven minutes later when Robyn Johannes coolly converted from the penalty spot, 3-1.

Baroka threw players forward in the final fifteen minutes, but were unable to score any more goals as they suffered their 13th loss of the season.

Baroka will play their last league game of the season next Saturday at home against Maritzburg United while Wits will be away to Golden Arrows.

Bidvest Wits (1) 3 (Majoro 32’, Alexander 54’, Johannes 74’ pen)

Baroka (0) 1 (Patjie 67’)

TEAMS:

Bidvest Wits: Goss, Mere, Mkhwanazi, Johannes, Hlanti, Monare, Alexander, Hotto, Pelembe (Gyimah 72’), Dzvukamanja (Murray 78’), Majoro (Keet 45’).

Baroka FC: Chipezeze, Gebhardt, Sibiya, Ntswane, Semenya, Patjie, Makume, Madigoe (Chivaviro 53’), Makgaka, Mdantsane, Dickens (Selemela 74’).