Cape Town – Wits’ Absa Premiership title hopes are still alive after a 3-1 victory over Baroka at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday.
The victory keeps the Students in third place, three points behind table-toppers Orlando Pirates, and three clear of Cape Town City in fourth as they look to make sure of African football next season.
It was a quiet start to proceedings in Johannesburg, although both Lehlohonolo Majoro and Deon Hotto looked threatening at times for the hosts, even if nothing came from their early forays into Baroka territory.
The Students were probing from both sides of the pitch, and when Majoro was brought down in a dangerous position, Hotto’s effort from the spot cannoned off the crossbar as the visitors survived.
Robyn Johannes had a good chance to open the scoring midway through the first half after latching onto a ball from Majoro, but his touch deserted him at the crucial moment.
A goal always looked on the cards for Wits, and it finally arrived in the 32nd minute courtesy of Majoro.
The former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates striker managed to beat the offside trap and the advancing Baroka keeper before producing a decisive finish into the back of the net to put his side 1-0 up.
It looked to be smooth sailing for the Students at that stage but disaster struck shortly before the break when goalkeeper Ricardo Goss was shown a straight red card for a late challenge.
Wits coach Gavin Hunt had no choice but to sacrifice his front man Majoro and bring on a replacement for Goss in Darren Keet.
That gave Wits 45 minutes to try and survive with 10 men, but they had other ideas.
Despite being a man down they doubled their lead 10 minutes into the second half courtesy of midfielder Cole Alexander, who found himself with space to shoot from inside the box and belted it home to make it 2-0.
Baroka were able to pull one back in the 68th minute through Tshidiso Patjie, who scored only his second goal since joining Bakgakga at the start of the season, to reduce the deficit to a single goal.
It took Wits just five minutes to respond and restore their two-goal advantage, however, with Robyn Johannes making no mistake from the penalty spot after a Baroka foul in the box.
And that was how it ended, as Wits held on for an impressive victory with 10 men that nevertheless spelled the end of their title challenge.
Published at Sat, 04 May 2019 18:12:49 +0000