Wits cruise to win over Aces

Sifiso Vilakazi © Backpagepix
Bidvest Wits continued their rich vein of form with a 3-0 win over relegation candidates Mpumalanga Black Aces in an Absa Premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Mark Haskins, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Geoffrey Sserunkuma scored the goals.

The Clever Boys have now won four successive games in the league, easily their best run this season. It is also their first win over Aces (in four attempts) since the Mpumalanga team returned to the top flight at the start of last season.

As for AmaZayoni, this defeat is seemingly another nail in their coffin. Twelve of their last 13 league matches have ended in defeat and they are surely bound for a return to the First Division less than two years after being promoted.

The first shot in anger came in the eighth minute from Black Aces’ Joseph Makhanya, who cut inside from the right and hit a left-footed effort that went over the crossbar without bothering Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet.

Thabang Rooi, Bafo Biyela and Joseph Henyekane – returning to the starting XI after his recent AWOL spell – all tried their luck from long range as the visitors managed to force the Clever Boys onto the back foot for most of the first half.

However, it was Wits who were the first to get an effort on target, with Sifiso Myeni forcing Francis Chansa into a sharp save with a shot from the left side of the away team’s penalty area in the 28th minute.

And just two minutes later Mark Haskins put the home team ahead, beating Chansa with a low shot from the edge of the area that nestled into the bottom left corner of the net.

Wits had a great chance to double their lead just before the break, with Derrick Spencer getting on the end of a corner kick from Myeni, but the defender was unable to direct his header on target.

Aces made a change at half time, withdrawing midfielder Vusiye Masondo and replacing him with striker Mpho Maleka, but it was still Wits who created the first chance of the second half, with youngster Bhongolwethu Jayiya pulling a shot wide of the target in the 51st minute.

AmaZayoni had a decent chance to draw themselves level in the 67th minute when Makhanya was presented with a shooting opportunity in the penalty area, but the on-loan Orlando Pirates midfielder hit his effort straight at Keet.

Wits punished the visitors by extending their lead with just over a quarter-hour to play. Sifiso Vilakazi set-up his namesake Sibusiso Vilakazi, who crashed home the Clever Boys’ second goal to effectively wrap-up the points for Roger de Sa’s team.

Another substitute, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, put the cherry on top for Bidvest Wits, netting in the last minute of regulation time to make it 3-0. The striker scored with a header at the near post after a cross from Myeni on the right flank.

Bidvest Wits (1) 3 (Haskins 30’, Sib. Vilakazi 74’, Sserunkuma 90’)
MP Black Aces 0

Wits: (4-4-2) Keet; Pule, Mahashe, Spencer, Phungwayo; Fredericks, Morton, Haskins (Sib. Vilakazi 57’), Myeni; Sif. Vilakazi (Sserunkuma 80’), Jayiya (de Oliveira 85’)

Aces: (4-4-2) Chansa; Bishop, McCarthy, Rooi, Henyekane; Makhanya (Gilbert 67’), Khanyile, Biyela (Spelman 71’), Masondo (Maleka 46’); Mathebula, Mofokeng

Referee: Robert Smith
Cautions: Haskins; Bishop, McCarthy