Wits' smash-and-grab sinks Pirates

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 percent 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."