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Wits snatch a late goal to deny Chiefs maximum points

By Marc Strydom at FNB Stadium | 2017-09-16 20:14:39.0

For Kaizer Chiefs signs of a mini-resurgence were blown away by a fine 90th-minute equaliser by Amr Gamal as Amakhosi had to settle for 1-1 Absa Premiership draw against 10-man Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening.

Wits went a seventh match without a win in 2017-18, but of the two sides, playing away from home at FNB Stadium and having had Nazeer Allie sent off in the 44th minute, the Clever Boys could take a morale victory from the stalemate.

Siphiwe Tshabalala's 53rd-minute strike gave Chiefs the lead as they initially made their man's advantage count.

But Wits, who had produced a string of saves from Itumeleng Khune before Allie's dismissal, continued to test Chiefs' keeper. And near the end Egyptian striker Amal pounced for an excellent low finish and equaliser. 

Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela made no changes from the team that included teenage central midfielder Wiseman Meyiwa and new signing Bongolwethu Jayiya as starters and beat Cape Town City 2-0 away on Wednesday night for Chiefs' first win of the season.

Wits counterpart Gavin Hunt switched seven starters from his team's 3-1 home loss against Lamontville Golden Arrows.

In many ways, though, Hunt's line-up resembled what he had started the season with as he tried to reverse the unravelling process that had seen his defending champions start 2017-18 going six matches without a win.

With a few tweaks, such as Bongani Khumalo coming back into the centre of defence, Nazeer Allie replacing Reeve Frosler at right-back and Steven Pienaar starting in central midfield.

Wits had the better chances in the first half.

An early Granwald Scott half-volley was straight at Itumeleng Khune. Then Scott's long-throw was half-cleared to Daylon Claasen, who also gave Khune catching practice.

From a Vincent Pule cross Lorenzo Gordinho chested into the air allowing Gamal in for a close-range header at Khune.

A Wits short corner saw Elias Pelembe whip in a low cross that found Thulani Hlatshwayo, who forced fourth stop from Chiefs' goalkeeper.

For all their chances, Wits' prospects of turning around their dismal start to the season took a blow when Allie was red-carded.

The right-back, out of action for some time as he has been kept out by Frosler, was behind the pace in his challenges. After earlier clipping at the heels of Jayiya, he tugged down Tshabalala in a similar position and referee Philani Ndaba pulled out a second yellow card just before half time.

Zulu for Chiefs and Pule for Wits saw shots go close soon after the restart.

Then Amakhosi opened 10-man Wits. Full-back Kgotso Moleko was played behind the defence down the right of the area and squared for Tshabalala to clinically connect past Moeneeb Josephs.

Wits, in attack, were playing better than they had in their defeat to Arrows, even a man down. From a free-kick Hlatshwayo's header produced a fine save by Khune.

Amal showed his growing confidence in the PSL as he slammed a loose ball on the edge of the box low past a diving Khune.

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