Johannesburg – A goal on debut from Dino Ndlovu and another from Mame Niang powered SuperSport United to a 2-1 win over Orlando Pirates in their Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
After going into the break at 0-0, Niang headed home the opening goal before the debutant doubled the score for the visitors. Happy Jele pulled one back for Pirates in injury time.
It was Pirates who dominated possession though for most of the match but failed to capitalise on numerous chances.
The hosts got off to a bright start and their attack produced a corner kick which Ayanda Gcaba headed wide in the second minute.
In the 16th minute, United's Edwin Gyimah gave away a free kick for a foul on Kermit Erasmus but Daine Klate’s brilliant effort was cleared out of danger by the evergreen defender Bevan Fransman.
After Andile Jali played an intelligent through ball for the running Erasmus, the former SuperSport striker blasted the ball wide across Ronwen Williams’ goal in the 19th minute.
Matsantsantsa’s first real chance came in the 22nd minute from David Mathebula's cross. Gcaba was forced to head it out for a corner which Bennett Chenene then fluffed.
SuperSport coach Cavin Johnson was forced to rethink his tactics in the 36th minute when Gyimah left the field with an injury and the 17-year-old Morne Nel was thrown into the fray.
Jali had the Pirates fans up on their feet in 34th minute as he let fly a scorcher but Williams dived full length to tip the effort out for a corner kick.
Pirates came close on the stroke of half-time. Klate found himself with space inside the box but his shot was blocked by Mor Diouf for a corner.
After the restart, Thabo Matlaba broke through the United defence and let go one of his trademark shots, but it sailed over the cross bar.
It took a mistake from the goalkeeper to finally break the deadlock when Sibusiso Khumalo played a cross into the box and Niang outjumped Gcaba to head the ball towards the goal. Senzo Meyiwa parried the ball onto his upright and Niang pounced on the rebound to give United the lead.
SuperSport’s new signing Ndlovu came on as a substitute for David Mathebula in 57th minute and made an immediate impact.
He headed home yet another Khumalo cross to double the lead in the 66th minute.
Khumalo would feel vindicated after he got the first yellow-card of the year in the first half, creating both goals for United.
The referee added four minutes extra time allowing Pirates a consolation goal after a commotion inside the box saw Diouf’s attempted clearance bounce off Jele’s chest into the back of the net.
The win sees SuperSport move to fourth spot with 23 points from 14 matches while Pirates remain eleventh on the table with 16 points from nine matches. – Sapa