Bidvest Wits 1-0 Mamelodi Sundowns: Motshwari's header sends the Students top of the PSL log

The Students moved to the top of the PSL table following their 1-0 victory over Masandawana on Monday evening

A solitary first half Ben Motshwari header was the difference on the night as Bidvest Wits dethroned Mamelodi Sundowns at the summit of the log.

Sundowns looked to continue their rampant run in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) when they faced off against their fellow title rivals on Monday evening.

Masandawana went into the match brimming with confidence, having won five games on the trot.

Ahead of kick-off, Sundowns coach Mosimane made one change to his usual starting line-up, roping in Anele Ngcongca for Mzikayise Mashaba, and therefore allowing Thapelo Morena to be utilised in a more advanced role.

Wits on the other hand, were given a big boost ahead of the clash as captain Thulani Hlatshwayo made his long-awaited return to the starting line-up. 

As expected the match was a tightly contested affair with so much at stake.

But, it was the Students who looked more enterprising during the opening stages of the game, although Sundowns also began to find their rhythm as the match progressed.

The Brazilians prospered down the wings, particularly on the right-hand side using Morena's pace to cause all sorts of problems for Wits. 

Sundowns had a glorious chance to open the scoring early on after some great work from Percy Tau, but the 22-year-old's attempted pass went across the face of goal.

With 20 minutes on the clock, Wits had a chance of their own, but Sundowns’ keeper Denis Onyango made the first meaningful save of the game. 

Chances were falling for both sides but the finishing on the night left much to be desired.

Tau had another fantastic opportunity to break the deadlock, but the dynamo failed to make any contact with Khama Billiat’s teasing cross.   

With the interval fast approaching, neither side could assert their authority on the encounter as the match became a cagier affair.

Sundowns lacked the fluidity that South African football fans had grown accustomed to seeing, leaving their fans out in the stands frustrated.

With minutes to go before the half-time, Wits broke the deadlock. Motshwari found himself on the end of a terrific Sifiso Myeni cross, firing his powerful header past Onyango.  

The goal seemed to awaken the rather sleepy Sundowns’ attack, and they were unlucky not to have grabbed the equaliser just before the interval.

Themba Zwane found himself in space, but his effort came off the woodwork, much to the relief of the Wits bench.

The resumption of the second half saw the away side looking to play more direct in an attempt to utilise the pace of Tau more effectively.

On the other hand, the Clever Boys were a continuous threat, particularly from dead ball situations.

Despite Sundowns’ added attacking impetus, Josephs was yet to make a save in the encounter. This prompted coach Mosimane to bring on Yannick Zakri for Ngcongca on the hour mark.  

Chances were at a premium in the second half, and Gavin Hunt’s men looked to shut the back door in the final 20 minutes.

Sundowns were dealt a major blow as substitute Fares Hachi was given his marching orders after picking up a second two yellow cards in quick succession.

Minutes later, another substitute was given his marching orders. This time it was Wits’ winger Daine Klate, who saw red after his second bookable offence. The sending off of Klate evened out the contest, but Wits remained resolute to eventually claimed the points.

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