Kaizer Chiefs nearly lost the first clash of their two against BidVest Wits within four days, but recovered to pull a dramatic one-all draw in an Absa Premiership match played at Mbombela Stadium (Nelspruit) on Wednesday night.
Playing for the first time at Mbombela Stadium, Chiefs came into this game with a clear intention for a win to intensify their challenge for the 2010\11 Absa Premiership championship.
Bidvest Wits, on the other hand, needed a win to consolidate their position on the log, and it was a matter of who needed it the most.
After 90 minutes, it came out that both sides had a plan for each other players from both camps as both really showed the desire to win at all costs, but their failure to convert the chances they created during the game left their coaches with more questions than answers.
Lacking that clinical efficiency, Chiefs and Wits saw chance after chance go by and ended up sharing the spoils courtesy of goals from Wits’ Sifiso Vilakazi in the first half and Chiefs’ Reneilwe Letsholonyane in the second half.
While it seemed an easy stroll in the park for Amakhosi in the first 15 minutes of the game, Chiefs took their foot of the pedal and allowed Wits back into the game.
The Students fought back and were rewarded when Sifiso Vikazi pounced on an Itumeleng Khune mistake to score Wits’ opening goal in the 20th minute.
A minute later, Khune atoned for his earlier mistake when he did well to parry Sibusiso Vilakazi’s shot out for a corner.
Despite Wits’ goal, Chiefs could have easily rattled the back of the net in the sixth, 14th and 15th minutes respectively, but first Sthembiso Ngcobo, and then Reneilwe Letsholonyane’s shots flew over the bar, before Dareen Keet denied Siphiwe Tshabalala.
Amakhosi might have thought they finally found that much needed equalizer when Mandla Masango scored in the 46th minute, but the latter was already ruled offside by the referee.
From the beginning of the second half, it was a ding dong battle, with Wits looking for the second and Chiefs for an equalizer.
Chiefs could have leveled matters in the 50th minute, but Patrick Phungwayo did well to disturb Mandla Masango before the latter could connect with a Siphiwe Tshabalala cross.
Nevertheless, it was Chiefs who managed to pull one back. The goal was a result of a well taken cross from Mandla Masango to Reneilwe Letsholonyane who made no mistake in the 57th minute to put Amakhosi on level terms.
What followed after Chiefs’ goal was soccer wizardry and much to the delight of the ardent fans who came in numbers to fill up the stadium, but that entire spectacle was characterized by school boy errors and impatience in front of goal and the status quo remained the same at full time.
Bidvest Wits: 4-4-2: Keet, Mngomezulu, Phungwayo, Spencer, Mashamaite, Chintu, Fredericks, Sibusiso Vilakazi, (Sibande 88th) Myeni, (Langwe 73rd) Sifiso Vilakazi, Jayiya. (Chapman 61st)
Kaizer Chiefs: 4-4-2: Khune, Tau, Masenamela, Sweswe, Nahayo, Nengomasha, Letsholonyane, Masango, Tshabalala, Yende, (Lebese 67th) Ngcobo. (Musona 60th