Wits and Orlando Pirates brawl to a goalless draw

2014-05-01 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates fired blanks in their Absa Premiership match yesterday evening which saw the two teams play out to a 0-0 draw at the Bidvest Stadium.

It was a physically commanding battle on campus and it saw the Clever Boys, who are guaranteed third place, lose Papy Faty in the 25th minutes of the encounter to a possible season-ending injury.

There was more than just the three points at stake for Bidvest Wits coming into this encounter, as they knew that there was a possibility of topping Q3 with a three-goal margin over their visitors.

Bidvest Wits started off well with some good pace along the wings, and they threatened with a glancing header from Sthembiso Ngcobo on six minutes, but he was blown for a foul inside the box.

The home side did have to be on guard when they were called into defending a series of corner kicks from the Bucs. Matthew Booth’s towering height and Moeneeb Josephs’s composed display saw the home side come out on top.

Kermit Erasmus then put some pressure on the hosts with his stinging snapshot on 16 minutes. The former SuperSport United’s man effort from 15-yards flew past the far post with some impressive pace.

Gavin Hunt’s men were then denied of the opening goal four minutes later, when Senzo Meyiwa pulled off a great save to tip over Jabulani Shongwe’s powerful strike. The Clever Boys’ momentum suffered a setback midway through the opening half as were forced into an early substitution, replacing Papy Faty for what looked like a broken leg.

There was a great ebb and flow to the game by the half hour mark, and a moment of confusion in the Bidvest Wits box saw Erasmus hit the ball on the turn. His effort nearly took a coat of paint off the goal-frame. Bidvest Wits could’ve taken the lead deep inside first half stoppages when the ball fell perfectly for Calvin Kadi, but he couldn’t steer his effort into the back of the net.

The second-half got underway under disappointing circumstances as a brawl broke out between the two sides following a rash tackle by Thandani Ntshumayelo on Tebogo Moerane, which resulted in the Pirates player being booked.

Erasmus knocked at Bidvest Wits’ door with a set-piece on 56 minutes, but much to Josephs’s delight it sailed harmlessly over the face of goal.

It was so nearly 1-0 to Hunt’s valiant charges midway through the second 45, as Shongwe chased down a strayed ball in the box. However, Rooi Mahamutsa and Meyiwa intercepted it. The midfielder nearly won the match at the death with an effort near the byline; however, his attempt stung the side netting as they played out to a goalless draw.

Last night’s results

Bidvest Wits 0 - 0 Orlando Pirates

Kaizer Chiefs 1 - 1 Free State Stars

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