Johannesburg – Bonginkosi Ntuli scored the only goal as Golden Arrows' late season Premiership survival push gathered further momentum with a narrow 1-0 win over SuperSport United at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Wednesday.
The Abafana Bes'thende striker shot high into the goal after 65
minutes when he collected a mis-hit Christopher Katongo shot.
The victory moved the hosts onto 21 points on the table, three behind Free State Stars, with two games remaining, although the team above them does have two games in hand.
SuperSport had one early chance that was wildly booted over by Morne Nel after two minutes, but from then on it was mainly Arrows as they played like a team whose lives depended on the outcome.
Ntuli was the first to come close when he controlled excellently 25 yards out, before sending a dipping shot inches over.
Moments later, strike partner Festus Mbewe found himself with more time than he may have anticipated in the box as he outjumped a defender, only to plant a header from Katongo's cross straight at Ronwen Williams.
Ntuli had another chance after 18 minutes when he easily skipped past his marker on the left side of the box and forced Williams to save with his legs at the near post.
At the other end, Matsatsantsa finally had a chance again before the half hour when Thuso Phala dragged wide from outside the box.
Ntuli was continuing to make a nuisance of himself, and after skipping down the right, he should have cut back to Mbewe rather than poke into the side netting, with Shange also coming close when he shot across the face of goal.
United had their best chance eight minutes from the break when Phala was on hand to shoot from the left side of the box, only to be denied by the alert Bartman.
Thato Mokeke then kept out a Philani Shange free-kick on the stroke of the whistle as the sides went in 0-0 at the break.
Bennett Chenene came closest to breaking the deadlock after the break when his strike from the edge of the penalty area skimmed the cross bar on its way over.
The pressure continued to come from the visitors with David Mathebula forcing Bartman to push away a free-kick, before Ndlovu miscued horribly wide with the goal at his mercy 12-yards out.
Arrows were finally rewarded for their first-half intent when Ntuli fired them in front from close range after collecting a mis-hit Katongo shot six yards out.
Nkanyiso Mngwengwe had an excellent chance to double the advantage after 72 minutes, but pushed his header wide from a Manti Moholo free-kick.
Moholo himself then missed an even better chance nine minute from time when he steered wide one-on-one.
And Arrows were almost made to pay for those misses when Sibusiso Khumalo struck the upright in the closing stages, but they managed to hold on. – Sapa