Kaizer Chiefs extended their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership to five points with a 3-1 victory over BidVest Wits at the Mbombela Stadium on Monday night.
The AmaKhosi were made to sweat for their win and should have been out of sight having missed a number of clear-cut chances before Wits pulled one back late on.
Chiefs striker Bernard Parker took his League tally to seven for the season with another two first-half goals, before Calvin Kadi netted late on to give Wits hope. With the home side pushing for an equaliser, Lehlohonolo Majoro with his first goal of the season.
Kingston Nkhatha had the first opportunity of the match when he forced a fine save from teenage Wits goalkeeper Steven Hoffman from a tight angle.
The opening goal arrived on 13 minutes as the Wits defence was left ball-watching to allow Parker the simplest of tap-ins at the back post. A throw-in made its way to George Lebese on the left and his cross was missed by both Nkhatha and defender Mbulelo Mabizela, leaving Parker with the easy finish past a helpless Hoffman.
Nkhatha came close to a second when he connected with Jimmy Jambo’s low cross, but put his first-time effort wide.
Chiefs did have their second when Wits failed to clear a low cross from the right this time and Lebese touched the ball on for Parker to shoot past Hoffman, who did get a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
Siphiwe Tshabalala tested the reflexes of Hoffman early in the second period, firing in a low shot that the goalkeeper had to move smartly down to his left to save.
Kadi should have pulled a goal back for Wits when he connected with Bryce Moon’s cross with his head, but Itumeleng Khune made a miraculous save from point-blank range. Half a yard either side of the keeper and it would have been a goal.
Matthew Pattison should have done better when he was teed-up brilliantly by Asive Langwe, but could only blast his shot over the bar.
Erwin Isaacs then forced Khune into a good save midway through the second half as the home side pushed for a way back into the game against a Chiefs side who had taken their foot off the peddle.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane provided a perfect cross-field ball to put Nkhatha one-on-one with Hoffman, but the Zimbabwean striker’s first touch was terrible and the ball eventually ran out of play.
Wits pulled a goal back with 10 minutes remaining, Kadi finally getting reward as the excellent Langwe played a magnificent ball across goal and the striker tapped home at the back post.
Ryan Chapman came close to an equaliser when he fired wide with five minutes remaining, but it was Chiefs who scored next.
Letsholonyane did brilliantly to win the ball in midfield and his defence-splitting pass left Majoro with an easy tap-in.