Wits and Sundown lose ground after drawing in Durban

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Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits both missed the chance of closing the gap on Kaizer Chiefs on top of the Absa Premiership table after they played to a 1-1 draw at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Tuesday night.

In a match between two weary-looking teams, the Brazilians took the lead in the 15th minute when Andile Jali stole possession on the right, darted down the touchline and then crossed low for Gaston Sirino to finish.

The Students then hit back in first-half stoppage time when Gift Motupa clinically finished from Deon Hotto’s cross. Wits coach Gavin Hunt was disappointed by their display.

Although Sundowns created the best chances, it was Wits who enjoyed the bulk of the play, especially in the second half in Durban, which is hosting their tier-one matches against the big clubs due to their regular home of Bidvest Stadium deemed not up to standards by the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

The point, however, did neither the home side or the away one any good in their quest to catch Kaizer Chiefs at the league’s summit.

But Hunt, whose team are 14 points behind Amakhosi with three matches in hand, insisted there was still a long way to go in the 2019/20 title race.

For Masandawana coach Pitso Mosimane, the point was a good one against what he emphasised was a very good Wits team as his team moved to within nine points of Chiefs.

The Brazilians were in charge for most of the game and looked far more composed, although their legs were looking tired at the end of what has been a manic few days in which they had played three games in seven days, including a Telkom Knockout final against Maritzburg United that they won 2-1 on Saturday. Mosimane felt it was a good draw for his team.

Motjeka Madisha did come closest to winning the game when he headed against the post in the second half.

However, what was most surprising was Mosimane’s decision not to turn to his bench earlier.

Either way, he had fielded almost an identical team to the one that did duty in the TKO final, with his first change coming in only the 81st minute. Mosimane thought it was the right decision he had made.

Report by Thahir Asmal