Paez strikes late to sink Wits

Kaizer Chiefs v Bidvest Wits

Kaizer Chiefs defeated champions Bidvest Wits 1-0 in an Absa Premiership encounter at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.

Gavin Hunt made one change to his side that defeated Polokwane City in their previous league tie, with Siboniso Gaxa replacing Reeve Frosler.

Steve Komphela made three changes to the side that were defeated 2-0 by Platinum Stars, with Daniel Cardoso, Ryan Moon and Emmanuel Letlotlo handed starting berths.

Chiefs made a bright start to the game and almost took the lead in the fourth minute when Tsepo Masilela evaded the attention of two defenders, before playing Letlotlo through on goal, but the forward failed to beat the off-side trap.

Letlotlo missed a sitter two minutes later with only the goalkeeper to beat after an enticing ball  from the right by George Maluleka.

A great passing move involving Masilela, Gustavo Paez and Letlotlo saw the latter find some space in the area, but yet again the youngster showed his lack of experience.

Chiefs upped their tempo and it was one-way traffic on the Wits goal as Hendrick Ekstein blazed an effort wide of target in the 20th minute, after showing great skill and vision to both set up the move and get on the end of it.

Wits were dealt an injury blow to Daine Klate, who was subsequently substituted by Maliele Pule in the 36th minute. Hunt, clearly not too impressed with his side’s performance, opted for another change in the first half as Granwald Scott made way for Ben Motshwari.

The second half saw the game being fiercely contested in the midfield. Substitute Pule almost gave his side the lead in the 46th minute with a dipped curling effort, which narrowly sailed over the bar.

In the 59th minute Pule caused all sorts of problems for the Chiefs’ defence when he turned Ramahlwe Mphahlele in and out, before sending in a low cross, which deflected off Cardoso on to the post.

Steve Komphela made two changes, bringing on William Twala and Joseph Molangoane, and the move almost immediately paid off when a great passing move involving Twala, Ekstein and Molangoane gave Maluleka an opportunity to score, but his headed effort went straight into the hands of Darren Keet.

Itumeleng Khune made a fine save to ensure the scoreline remained level in the 64 minute to deny Mogakolodi Ngele’s header from a corner.

Gustavo Paez emerged as the hero for the home side when he popped up in the area to finish home substitute George Lebese’s cross into the area.

Photo: Muzi Mtombela/Backpagepix

Baroka survived automatic relegation as they edged Ajax Cape Town 1-0 at the Cape Town Stadium, with Letladi Madubanya netting the only game of the goal.

Orlando Pirates failed in their bid to clinch a top-eight spot as they lost 2-1 to Golden Arrows at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, with Thamsanqa Gabuza’s strike cancelled out with goals by Lerato Lamola and Knox Mutizwa.

Maritzburg United played to a 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Harry Gwala Stadium, with Musa Nyatama’s strike being cancelled out by Mohau Mokate.