Wits' smash-and-grab sinks Pirates

Wits, champions two seasons ago only to finish 13th in defence of the title, have a maximum nine points from three matches.

BidVest Wits players celebrate a win. Picture: @BidvestWits/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Wits went three points clear at the top of the South African Premiership Wednesday with a smash-and-grab 1-0 victory at Orlando Pirates.

The lone goal came on 80 minutes in Soweto when Gladwin Shitolo deflected a Hashim Domingo shot past his goalkeeper at the near post.

Wits, champions two seasons ago only to finish 13th in defence of the title, have a maximum nine points from three matches.

Pirates dominated possession, but Shitolo suffered more bad luck having also conceded an own-goal on matchday one.

The 'Buccaneers' slipped one place to sixth, five points adrift of Wits, whose squad underwent wholesale changes during the close season.

"We had only about 20% possession, but I told my players to be patient and the chances will come," said Wits coach Gavin Hunt.

"Domingo is a hidden gem, a fantastic footballer. I do not know why he has not played for Bafana Bafana (the South African national team)."

Pirates' Serb coach Milutin Sredojevic said: "Accidents happen in football, but had we taken our scoring chances the own-goal would not have hurt us so much."