Orlando Pirates lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits in an Absa Premiership match in Johannesburg on Wednesday night.
James Keene scored the only goal of the game at a rainy Bidvest Stadium to lift the Clever Boys to victory.
Wits started the match brightly and had an early appeal for a penalty, though television replays showed that Elias Pelembe’s back-heel hit defender Ayanda Gcaba in the chest and not the arm, backing up the referee’s decision to ignore the home side’s plea.
On 11 minutes Pelembe was again in action in the danger zone, getting away a shot from a tight angle on the left of the penalty area which looked destined for the back of the net until goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo made a fine save with his legs.
Midway through the first half Pirates almost broke the deadlock, with Luvoyo Memela getting away a shot from near the right by-line which had the beating of Moeneeb Josephs but rebounded off the post and skidded out of reach of Thabo Qalinge.
Wits claimed the lead in the 29th minute through striker James Keene, who continued his prolific start to life in South African football.
The Englishman managed to squeeze the ball home from close range after a good low cross from the right of the penalty area by Thulani Hlatshwayo.
Just before halftime Memela was arguably lucky to stay on the field after a nasty, over-the-top challenge on Daine Klate which could have broken the Wits midfielder’s leg. The Pirates man received only a yellow card, while Klate was fortunately able to play on.
Bucs dominated the play in the early stages of the second half and Wits needed goalkeeper Josephs to make two excellent saves, first to keep out a glancing header from Tendai Ndoro and then to palm away a low, long-range effort from Mpho Makola.
However, that was as close as the Soweto side came to claiming an equaliser, with Wits able to neutralise their opponents and hold out for victory.