JOHANNESBURG, August 19 – Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy got a first league three-pointer under his belt with a 1-0 win at Bidvest Wits, despite his side being second best for much of Friday evening.
It was an unhappy evening for the Clever Boys, who dominated nearly all of the game but were frustrated by some wasteful finishing, a missed penalty, two disallowed goals and some plain bad luck in front of goal.
The home side started strongly and had some excellent opportunities to score within the opening 10 minutes, but Thabang Morena sliced a volley wide before James Keene had a headed goal ruled off-sides and then some sloppy goalkeeping from Shua-aib Walters nearly saw a Vincent Pule cross finding the back of the net.
The Cape team managed to alleviate the pressure for a while, but the hosts were back on the attack on the half hour mark when Elias Pelembe cut in from the left flank and drew a stinging save out of Walters.
It was from the Citizens’ first real chance on goal that they took the lead, Lehlohonolo Majoro applying an exquisite header to glance Lebogang Manyama’s 40th minute free kick past Moeneeb Josephs and into goal.
The Students thought they had equalised a minute after the break when some uncertain defending by City and Walters resulted in Bongani Khumalo bundling the ball into goal, but for the second time in the match they were over-ruled, in what appeared a marginal call.
The drama continued when Wits were awarded a 52nd minute penalty after Gabadinho Mhango appeared to go down rather easily from a Manyama challenge, only for the Malawi striker to have his spot kick well-saved by Walters.
The visitors remained under pressure and it took two goal-line clearances, from Tshepo Gumede and Edmilson, to keep Wits at bay.
Mhango was giving City all kinds of problems and he did brilliantly to tee up Keene 20 minutes from time, but the Englishman nodded wide from right in front of goal before being substituted seconds later.
The Students huffed and puffed for the remainder of the game but couldn’t find a way to break down a stubborn City defence.