Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns gets stuck in to SuperSport United striker Jeremy Brockie on Wednesday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

ATTERIDGEVILLE – It was safer being boring than enterprising for SuperSport United.

But it could prove to be at the expense of their Absa Premiership title hopes as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday night.

While Sundowns wouldn’t have been fussy about picking up a point “away” from home, having beaten their Tshwane rivals 5-0 a week ago, SuperSport are slowly dropping out of the championship race.

And Hlompho Kekana added to their woes with a winning goal seven minutes prior to the final whistle.

SuperSport were never really expected be aggressive given what happened at Loftus Stadium, but it would have been to their advantage to take the game to Sundowns in an effort to end their four-game winless run in the Premier League.

The visitors were slightly subdued, but threatened early and were overall the better team.

And they proved as much when they got a winning goal that, to be fair, never really looked like it was coming.

Parts of this encounter, however, would pass any tests in the search to cure insomnia.

SuperSport will consider themselves fortunate in a way that in another top of the table clash between Cape Town City and Bidvest Wits on the night, there was no winner at the Cape Town Stadium.

This fixture here in Atteridgeville was teasing in the beginning as Khama Billiat, who scored twice for Sundowns in the 5-0 rout, targeted the slow Matsatsantsa defence.

He had every reason to after running rings around them days earlier to halt his own team’s awful run of matches without a win in all competitions.

But that was about as lively as things got, with the exception of a couple of close shaves here and there – including defender Clayton Daniels’ well-struck attempt that could have easily given SuperSport the lead had it not been for goalkeeper Denis Onyango’s acrobats and Kekana’s 83rd-minute strike.

Matsatsantsa next face Wits, who moved to second place with the draw in Cape Town on Wednesday night, and will have to up the ante to stop the rot.

It won’t go unnoticed that SuperSport haven’t won a league game since the club gave coach Stuart Baxter permission to speak to the South African Football Association about the vacant Bafana Bafana job.

The “distraction” began with a 1-0 defeat away to lowly Baroka FC, where SuperSport surrendered their 19-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League and missed out on setting a PSL record.

The 5-0 defeat last week further highlighted deeper-lying problems, with Baxter admitting that he wasn’t sure whether his players were being affected by his likely departure or the very fact that he was talking to another employer.

Even if they make a recovery in the coming weeks, this defeat was a massive dent on their title ambitions, and SuperSport are probably better off focusing on the Nedbank Cup, while Sundowns march on in their increasingly likely chance of defending the league championship this season.

Independent Media

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