Kaizer Chiefs were held to a 1-1 by Bidvest Wits in a league encounter played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night
Kaizer Chiefs started knocking the ball comfortably in their own half, as they could not penetrate Bidvest Wits defence, and the fans had to wait until the 7th minute to witness the first corner of the game that was won by Chiefs. Surprisingly, it was Wits who took the lead three minutes later, through Ryan Chapman, who rose above Chiefs defenders to make it 1-0 to Wits from Matthew Pattison’s well taken corner.
The home side often wanted to capitalize from the visitors’ mistakes, and Kingston Nkhatha dispossessed the ball in the final third of Wits, and played a back pass to Siphiwe Tshabalala just outside the box, but the Chiefs midfielder shot straight to Wits keeper Thapelo Mabokgwane who failed to deal with it first time.
Tshabalala equalized for the home side in the 28th minute, after a beautiful through pass from Reneilwe Letsholonyane, with what looked like a soft goal for Wits keeper to let in. Amakhosi’s midfield proved too strong for the Clever Boys, as Tshabalala and Masilela often looked dangerous every time they had the ball on their feet.
Bidvest Wits though, showed that they also want to win against Chiefs, and Matthew Pattison controlled the Wits midfield. However, he lacked support in the Chiefs half as Chapman was isolated by three Chiefs defenders. Sipho Mngomezulu tried to beat Itumeleng Khune with long range shot on half hour mark, but he couldn’t keep his shot on target.
Chiefs nearly grabbed the lead two minutes before the break, when Nkhatha was picked in the box, but the Zimbabwean hit the side netting with a powerful shot from an awkward angle. Wits retaliated strongly a minute later, when Papy Faty beat a few Chiefs defenders in the box, and passed to captain Sibusiso Vilakazi who forced a brilliant save out of Khune, which ensured that the score remained 1-1 at half time.
Stuart Baxter introduced two attacking minded players in Lehlohonolo Majoro and Mandla Masango in the second half, as he looked to collect the much needed three points to open a five-points lead at the top.
The home side looked to finish the game early in the second, and Bernard Parker should have scored for the home side in the 53rd minute, after creating the space for himself inside the box, but his poorly taken shot was easily saved by Mabokgwane who dived to his left.
With less that 25 minutes left on the clock, Chiefs were awarded a free-kick outside the box, , but Parker blasted the ball over the bar. However, the log leaders continued to press forward, and Tshabalala should have at least hit the target in the 72nd minute, but he couldn’t trouble the Wits keeper with his shot as it also sailed over the bar.
Wits didn’t really push forward in the last 10 minutes of the game, but Chiefs didn’t not stop attacking their opponents, and Bernard Parker took a shot outside the box, and Wits keeper did well to punch for a corner. Chiefs thought they scored in the 82nd minute, but referee Daniel Bennett adjudged Amakhosi to have fouled on Wits defenders in the process.Mandla Masango should have done better in the 84th minute, after he was brilliantly picked by Parker inside the six yard, but Masango failed to connect with the pass, and it went wide.
Masango was again the culprit when his poor header was saved by Mabokgwane for a corner.
The visitors held Chiefs to 1-1 draw in what Wits coach Clever Barker will consider as a valuable point against Amakhosi.