Result: Bidvest Wits 0-1 Cape Town City
Date: 18 August 2017
Venue: Bidvest Stadium
Benni McCarthy could not have asked for a better start to his coaching career in the Absa Premiership than his team Cape Town City defeating defending league champions Bidvest Wits in the season opener. Although Lehlohonolo Majoro’s first half goal was enough to give City the victory in the end, Wits would rue a missed penalty and two offside goals.
The game started on a high note as Wits defender Sifiso Hlanti failed to take his chance inside the box.
City got their first chance in the sixth minute when Majoro was given space but could keep not his composure as the ball went wide to the right of Wits keeper Moeneeb Josephs.
Wits found the back of the net through James Keene’s header but this was ruled offside.
Despite the set back Wits continued to dominate with their fans behind them.
Vincent Pule had a great chance to put the Clever Boys in the lead but was let down by his first touch and could not get a good shot away as he was closed down by City’s defence.
The best chance of the game fell to Reeve Frosler 15 minutes before half-time as he chest trapped the ball from a corner but just could not find the back of the net as City’s keeper Shu-Aib Walters made a great save to deny him a goal.
Walters remained the busiest of the two keepers, as he also saved a superb shot from Pule at close range.
The cold winds did not stop the fans from cheering for their team as the 5 000-seater stadium was packed.
The Citizens showed Wits how to score when Majoro put the ball in the back of the net through a header after a free kick from Manyama in the 40th minute.
McCarthy remained calm throughout the match despite pressure mounting as Wits continued to search for the equalizer in the second half.
The introduction of Kobamelo Kodisang proved to create a lot of problems for City’s defence as he was brought down inside the penalty area by Edmilson Dove.
However Walters again produced an unbelievable save to deny the home side their first goal.
McCarthy’s team failed to double the lead in the last few minutes but an away win against the defending champions still kept his winning smile pinned to his face.
Here’s how they lined up:
Wits: 16. Josephs, 3. Hlatshwayo, 4. Khumalo, 26. Scott, 6. Monare, 11. Pelembe, 12. Pule, 13. Hlanti, 14. Claasen, 28. Keene, 33 Frosler.
CT City: 1. Walters, 2. Mkhize, 27. Gumede, 16. Johannes, 5. Edmilson, 23. Matsi, 19. Putsche, 26. Nodada, 24. Masina, 8. Manyama, 45. Majoro.