Bidvest Wits kick-started their Nedbank Cup quest with a narrow 1-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic on Friday in Johannesburg. Wits, the 2010 winners, kept the same momentum throughout the game and the visitors were left with no answers. James Keene’s clever finish rounded off the pressure applied by wingers, Daine Klate and Elias Pelembe to leave Phunya Sele Sele stunned.
Thereafter Pelembe had a long range shot as goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb failed to hold it perfectly, but Keene was not clinical enough to capitalise on that fumble. Klate fed Keene with a great ball, and the striker chipped it cleanly to go straight to the net. In the latter stages in the first half, Vincent Pule had his volley deflected for a corner.
The referee gave the two coaches something to think about as the home side enjoyed the one-goal cushion going to the break. The Clever Boys continued where they left off, and Pelembe almost doubled the lead just two minutes into the second stanza but Tignyemb denied him. As the game progressed, rough challenges became part of this fixture.
Substitute Lerato Lamola was bought down later in the box by Nazeer Allie. Lyle Lakay confidently took the penalty but Moneeb Joseph saved it to become a hero for his side and preserve the lead for Gavin Hunt’s side. In the end, Wits booked their spot in the Last 16.
Photo credit: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix