JOHANNESBURG – The near half-empty stadium had already created a lazy atmosphere about this game, and it was the home side that hardly ever left the dressing room as visitors SuperSport United romped to a 5-3 victory in their CAF Confederation Cup group stage clash away to CF Mounana of Gabon.
Even with the hosts being awarded two penalties in the second half – one saved and the other converted on the rebound after goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse had managed to get his hands on – the South Africans still managed to get the maximum three points.
Matsatsantsa opened the scoring as early as the fifth minute from an unlikely scorer in Grant Kekana. The rightback was set-up by Bradley Grobler and when the deadlock was broken so promptly, SuperSport would have been sure of an easy afternoon.
But Mounana threatened to put up a fight when Achabao brought them back into the game with an equaliser as the game approached the half-hour mark. However, a Thabo Mnyamane double going into the break had ended the game as a contest.
The winger scored twice in the 34th and 44th minute, benefiting from good build-ups to build an unassailable lead.
Jeremy Brockie would then later come off the bench in place of Grobler for the second half and also register his name on the score sheet. That was also on the back of a solid solo run from young Fagrie Lakay to set up the ever-ready Brockie, who made it 5-3 in referee’s optional time.
Without their head coach Stuart Baxter on the bench having allowed his assistant Kaitano Tembo lead the team as he’s switched his focus to his other job as Bafana Bafana mentor, SuperSport got the job done.
It’s an improvement from their opening group stages clash at home against Horoya from Guinea nearly two weeks ago, a match that ended in a 2-2 draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
SuperSport have done a pretty decent job so far of rotating the squad given their demanding schedule both on the continent and at home, although they now only have one league match remaining against Platinum Stars on Saturday. They also have a cup final on June 24 against Orlando Pirates following their penalty shoot-out win over Chippa United at the weekend.
The fact that they have conceded five goals in their two group stages games so far will be a slight worry, but it is expected when Baxter is having to chop and change the back four to make sure he has the fresh legs.