Citizens school Clever Boys in opener

Cape Town City got their 2017-18 Absa Premiership season up and running with a 1-0 win over Bidvest Wits at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday evening.

The Citizens were on the back foot for most of the encounter, but in what was Benni McCarthy's first league match in charge of the club, last year's surprise package proved that it is all about taking your chances.

Lehlohonolo Majoro quite literally converting the visitors only chance of the game - vitally it proved to be worth all three points.

The defending champions looked the better side in the early exchanges and threatened through Thabang Monare. Off balance, the midfielder could only succeed in guiding his miscued effort wide of goal having found a pocket of space within the area.

James Keene had the ball in the back of the net for the hosts as early as the eighth minute, but the linesman's flag was raised for offside as the Clever Boys continued to dominate proceedings.

Vincent Pule then forced Walters into a good save with a powerful shot from an acute angle before Robyn Johannes found himself in a good position to turn Monare's goal-bound shout wide of goal.

Gavin Hunt - relegated to the stands following his sending off last weekend - continued to watch on as his side squandered chance after chance with Walters at full stretch to deny Elias Pelembe's rocket from flying into the top corner of the net just shot of the half-hour mark.

Booed last weekend, Majoro would silence his critics as the Citizens opened the scoring against the run of play. The former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates forward with the first goal of the season; nodding home Lebogang Manyama's free-kick.

The champions 1-0 behind at the interval.

Bidvest Wits continued their dominance following the break and Bongani Khumalo had the ball in the back of the net moments into the second stanza, but again the assistant's flag denied the hosts.

The Clever Boys had a golden chance to pull level in the 53rd minute after Frank Mhango was fouled inside the area by Tshepo Gumede, but Walters denied the Malawi international from 12 yards.

Mhango proved a real menace following his introduction and after blazing not one, but three defenders he teed up Keene, but the forward failed to hit the target with his header attempt on 75 minutes.

City parked the proverbial bus in the closing stages as they successfully held on for all three points, to get their campaign off to the perfect start.

Bidvest Wits (0) 0
Cape Town City (1) 0 (Majoro 41')

Bidvest Wits: Josephs; Khumalo, Hlatshwayo, Scott (Pienaar 64') - Hlanti, Monare, Claasen, Frosler - Pelembe, Pule (Mhango 46'), Keene (Klate 75')

Cape Town City: Walters; Dove (Seedat 77'), Gumede, Johannes, Mkhize - Putsche, Nodada, Matsi - Manyama (Fielies 87'), Masina, Majoro (Lakay 77')