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Beleaguered SuperSport score shock 1-0 win over wasteful Kaizer Chiefs

Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs is challenged by Siyabonga Nhlapo of Supersport United during their DStv Premiership match at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs is challenged by Siyabonga Nhlapo of Supersport United during their DStv Premiership match at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Apr 16, 2022

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Cape Town — SuperSport started life without coach Kaitano Tembo on a high note with a well-taken 1-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs in a DStv Premiership match at the First National Bank Stadium, on Saturday evening after a goalless first half.

The result meant that interim coach Andre Arendse started his SuperSport tenure on a winning note as he guided the team to their first away win in the calendar year. The defeat was a setback for Chiefs’ bid to secure a top-two finish in the league at the end of the season.

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Chiefs returned to action after a 10-day break and should have sewed up the game in the first half, but pardon the pun, made weather of scoring when chances surfaced.

It had been raining all day in Johannesburg, and by the time the teams ran out for the kick-off, the pitch was waterlogged. It did not, however, dampen the spirits of the few thousand passionate fans who were on hand to give Chiefs a rousing welcome when they trooped out. The on-field TV analyst said many of the Chiefs fans found their voice long before the start.

The soggy conditions made passing a treacherous exercise. It did seem that players battled to adapt, and for most of the half, there were far too many passes which slowed down play appreciably. A more direct approach would have offered greater prospects in these spoiling conditions.

Both teams showed a fair amount of intent but were unable to impose their gameplan on the match. Chiefs were without talisman Keagan Dolly, who is serving a suspension. In his absence, Khama Billiat returned, and he was one of the better players in the first half.

Just ahead of the halftime break, Billiat set off on a strong into the SuperSport penalty area, and after shaking off two defenders, his parting shot was superbly blocked by goalkeeper Ronwen Williams. When the ball spilt free, midfielder Nkosingiphile Ngcobo was on hand to stab the ball into the SuperSport net. Instead, he blasted the ball over the bar.

A few minutes later, Chiefs produced a strong move down the middle, and striker Samir Nurković was at the end of the sortie. He slipped the ball past goalkeeper Williams, but he was ruled off and the goal was disallowed.

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On the stroke of halftime, SuperSport missed a gilt-edged chance to open their scoring account. Striker Thamsanqa Gabuza who returned to the SuperSport starting line-up after serving a two-match suspension, hoofed the ball over the bar, after Chiefs failed to clear a threatening goalmouth cross from the right.

Billiat was again prominent some 10 minutes into the second play when sparked an attack from the left channels. After slipping two SuperSport tackles, he reeled in a cross which midfielder Alexander Cole met with a diving header in the penalty box. The effort went fractionally wide of the upright.

Just past the hour mark, SuperSport scored against the run of play. After they lost the ball in midfield, striker Ghampani Lungu was set free down the left and he made headway deep into Chiefs’ half before unleashing a low feed into the goalmouth. With Chiefs unable to deal with the threat, the unmarked Gabuza ran in and scored the opening goal in the match.

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As it turned out, it was the matchwinner as Chiefs were unable to claw their way back after this setback.

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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