Pretoria - SuperSport United grabbed a late Mogogi Gabonamong goal to edge the University of Pretoria 1-0 in a Premiership derby clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Tuesday evening.
A dull affair for most of the contest, Gavin Hunt's side took the lead with less than 15 minutes to play, securing their first league victory of the new year.
The victory helped United leapfrog the student side, going above the league newcomers on a superior goal difference, and in doing so, climbing into the top eight for the first time this year.
After a quiet opening 20 minutes, Tuks were in with the first real opportunity of game, when Aubrey Ngoma was put through on goal with a delicate ball over the top from Buhle Mkhwanazi, but Ngoma's solid strike was kept out by United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who made a good stop low down to deny the visitors the opener.
United piled on the pressure late in the half, but failed to trouble Washington Arubi, who was enjoying a quiet evening in goal.
The half-time break provided a respite from an uninspired display from both sides, with chances few and far between. AmaTuks, much like the first half, had to dig deep for their first opportunity of the second period, coming close in the 69th minutes, but were thwarted by the crossbar, after an accurate in-swinging corner from Ngoma struck the woodwork and went out, narrowly missing the intended target inside the United area.
Matsatsantsa flew under the radar for much of the game, but finally gave their fans something to cheer about 14 minutes from time, when a well-taken Kermit Erasmus free-kick looped over the Tuks defence and found Gabonamong, who lost his marker and neatly tucked away his headed effort into the bottom right of Arubi's goal, to hand the host the late advantage.
With their tails up, SuperSport kept up the pressure as they went in search of their second, with Sameegh Doutie forcing a save from Arubi, after the winger whipped in a dangerous delivery that took the Zimbabwean shot-stopper by surprise, but managed to punch wide.
Williams came to the rescue in stoppage time, when he made superb reflex save to deny Tuks defender Warren Bishop, who rose high above the defence and headed at goal, but saw his effort tipped wide by the United number one.
Doutie replied with a thunderous effort from outside the Tuks area, but Arubi made a brilliant diving save to end on a high, but saw his side go down to their Pretoria rivals. - Sapa