Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City opened proceedings on a chilly night at the Bidvest Stadium, as both teams looked for a bright start to a grueling campaign.
After winning their respective MTN8 clashes, they made only one change from the sides that hosted Golden Arrows and Polokwane City respectively.
Without its head coach Gavin Hunt, the task fell on Paul Johnstone, with Bongani Khumalo replacing the suspended Slavko Damjanovic.
The Citizens replaced winger Lyle Lakay with midfield enforcer Mpho Matsi whose main task was to oversee the threats of Daylon Claasen and Thabang Monare respectively.
The champions asserted themselves from the word go, and nearly went ahead in the first minute through Monare, but his effort from inside the box went wide of goal.
Lehlohonolo Majoro came close for City five minutes later when he was played through by his captain Lebogang Manyama, but his effort was well thwarted by Khumalo.
Two minutes later, the home side had a goal incorrectly disallowed when James Keene perfectly beat the offside the trap to head home Sifiso Hlanti’s free-kick.
Moments later, they forced Shuaib Walter into a one-hand save from Vincent Pule’s attempt as the Capetonians were under siege.
On the half-hour mark, Elias Pelembe went close to breaking the ice but found Walters equal to the task with a point-blank save. City broke the deadlock five minutes before the break against the run of play when Majoro headed home a Manyama free-kick.
The home side made a change at the break, bringing on striker Gabadinho Mhango for Pule to liven up their stall. It proved to be a masterstroke when the Malawian earned a penalty after being brought down by
Tshepo Gumede five minutes from the restart. However he failed to convert the spot-kick as he was expertly denied by Walters much to the dismay of the home crowd.
They continued to pile on the pressure in search for the equalizer, but it just didn’t fall for Wits as chance after chance went astray.
On the other hand, City looked to seal up the contest with the introduction of Lakay for the goal-scorer Majoro, to give more solidarity in the middle.
Though the pace of Manyama and Sibusiso Masina continued to mesmerize Thulani Hlatshwayo and company, by keeping them on their toes as they lurked for any opportunity to completely seal off the contest.
Lakay had the chance to seal the tie in added time when he was put through by Masina, but Moeneeb Josephs pulled off a miraculous save as City secured an opening day win.