By Isaac Salima:
Malawi national football team striker Gabadinho Mhango’s Bidvest Wits consolidated their position at the top of the Absa Premiership with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Free State Stars at Goble Park on Saturday.
Gaba was one of Wits’ players on the bench as he continues to struggle for game time.
It took Free State Stars just 45 seconds to get their 2019 off to a perfect start. Sifiso Mbhele played a well-worked one-two before delivering a pinpoint cross to the back post for Harris Tchilimbou to head home.
Ea Lla Koto almost had their second soon afterwards but Darren Keet thwarted Stars winger Yussuf Jappie when he was facing the goal.
Indeed, Stars had the log-leaders rattled in the opening exchanges. The change in coach seemed to have Stars playing with greater expression and creative freedom.
However, Gavin Hunt’s side soon began to find their feet and had a chance through Edwin Gyimah, but his effort sailed wide off the crossbar.
Jappie, who proved to be a constant menace to the Wits’ defence, came close again with his long-range effort rattling the post.
Wits were back in it on the half-hour mark. Patrick Phungwayo lunged in recklessly on Elias Pelembe and conceded a free-kick.
Deon Hotto’s delivery was headed home by Terrence Dzvukamanja for the equaliser.
Wits continued to pile the pressure on Free State Stars in their search for an equaliser after the interval, with Buhle Mkhwanazi coming close on 48 minutes.
Wits Coach, Gavin Hunt, brought on Simon Murray for Lehlonolo Majoro. The substitution almost immediately paid dividends as it was Murray who crossed for Pelembe to score with the diving header in the 73rd minute.
New Stars Coach, Nikola Kavazovic, responded by throwing the dice one last time with a double substitution—bringing Linda Bhengu and Eleazar Rodgers on.
But it would come to nothing as Wits ended the season as they started it—top of the table. —Kickoff
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