Keene helps Wits move out of drop zone

Bidvest Wits overcame 10-man Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at the Bidvest Stadium on Friday night.

The narrow victory sees the Clever Boys move to 13th spot on the league standings, while Phunya Sele Sele remain ninth on the table.

The match got off to a lively start as the Clever Boys and Phunya Sele Sele both launched attacks in search of a early goal.

Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb pulled off a decent save to deny Wits striker Lehlohonolo Majoro 13 minutes into the game.

The home side grew in confidence as the game progressed - applying some pressure on the Phunya Sele Sele defence.

Mpho Maruping deliberately handled the ball inside inside his own box on the half-hour mark and Wits were awarded a penalty with the Celtic player being sent off in the process.

James Keene then stepped up and made no mistake from the spot-kick as he beat Tignyemb to make it 1-0 to Wits.

The momentum was with Clever Boys with the half-time break fast approaching and Keene's dangerous cross was blocked in the 38th minute.

However, Celtic stood firm at the back and the score was 1-0 to Wits at the interval following a first-half which was dominated by the hosts.

Veselin Jelusic, the Celtic coach, made a double substitution four minutes after restart - introducing Menzi Masuku and Ndumiso Mabena as the visitors looked to level matters.

However, Wits continued to launch attacks in search for another goal and Tignyemb had to react quickly, and snatch the ball before Lehlohonolo Majoro could pounce on the hour-mark.

Pressure was mounted on 10-man Celtic box and in the 64th minute, Cameroonian keeper Tignyemb produced two good saves to deny Wits winger Vincent Pule.

With time running out Vusi Shikweni found some space outside the Clever Boys box and he unleashed a powerful shot which was brilliantly saved by Wits keeper Darren Keet in the 77th minute.

Deon Hotto should have snatched a late equalizing goal for Phunya Sele Sele in the latter stages of the game, but the left-footed winger placed his effort wide of the target with Keet rooted to the ground.

Keet then gathered Hotto's attempt from a free-kick in stoppage time and ultimately, Wits secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over 10-man Celtic.

Wits (1) 1 (Keene 31')
Celtic (0) 0

Wits XI: Keet, Hlatshwayo, Khumalo, Pule (Klate 70'), Hlanti, Claasen, Mkhwanazi, Myeni (Pelembe 62'), Gyimah, Keene (Monare 61'), Majoro.

Celtic XI: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Gordinho, Baloyi, Maruping, Hotto, Mashikinya (Mabena 49'), Phalane (Shikweni 75'), Mabasa (Masuku 49').