Four goals were scored in the four matches that were played across the country on Tuesday evening as the ABSA Premiership resumed after a short weekend break during which the MTN 8 final was staged.
Bidvest Wits retained the top position following their 2-0 success away to Cape Town City. Polokwane City shared the spoils 1-1 with SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. But it ended goalless between Highlands Park and Kaizer Chiefs and also Maritzburg United and Amazulu.
On a bitterly cold evening in the Mother City, Cape Town City can consider themselves unlucky after receiving the short end of the referee’s stick when he was duped by Wits striker Simon Murray into awarding him a penalty that never was.
Scotsman Murray rounded the City defence and wanted to do likewise with goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh who had come out to close the angle, but Murray dived theatrically pretending to have been felled by the goalkeeper.
And referee Luxolo Badi fell for the Scotman’s tricks and awarded Wits a penalty they did not deserve. Murray dusted himself and coolly converted the penalty kick to give the visitors the lead.
However, the second goal was pure class. Murray jinxed his way past two defenders, then feigned a shot at which point another defender and the goalkeeper committed themselves and cool as you like, Murray curled the ball to the far corner for his brace.
“I do not think the goalkeeper touched me much,” said Murray when asked about the “foul.” But he impeded the space towards goal and for me that was a foul. The referee gave it and so, yeah!”
City coach Benni McCarthy admitted that from his dugout, he suspects that it was nowhere near a penalty, but he needed to verify that later in the evening and watch the video replay of the incident.
However, he was magnanimous in his praise of Wits, accepting they did their homework and accepted that they committed unforgivable blunders from which they were punished.
“But you cannot taker away the fact that Wits were spot-on in their approach tonight,” said McCarthy. “We might have gifted them the goals, but I cannot fault the boys as Wits spotted their opportunities and capitalized. They did their homework.”
In Polokwane, Aubrey Modiba curled a brilliant free kick into the far corner to give SuperSport United a deserved lead in the ninth minute but Nhlapo conceded an own goal a few seconds before the break as both teams shared the spoils.
However, Kaizer Chiefs never really got out of the blocks against Highlands Park at a packed Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa where the two teams toiled in a scoreless draw, the same result attained by Maritzburg United and AmaZulu.