NELSPRUIT – SuperSport United ran out comfortable 1-0 winners over Maritzburg United at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday evening.
The only goal of the night in a game which failed to deliver much excitement came from an Aubrey Modiba penalty midway through the second half.
The defeat sees Fadlu Davids’ team slipping into the Premiership relegation zone after having failed to register a victory in their last eight league outings.
Between them the two teams had scored just two goals in their last six league matches combined, and this was very much in evidence in a first half which never threatened to change the score-sheet.
Maritzburg made a bright start to the game, but apart from a couple of snap shots by Deolin Mekoa – one went wide and the other was comfortably saved by Ronwen Williams – they had little to show for their efforts.
SuperSport were even less of a threat in attack, and their only decent chance of the opening half saw Sipho Mbule’s shot blocked by teammate Modiba.
The Team of Choice had another sniff six minutes before the interval when SuperSport failed to clear their box, and Rushine de Reuck reacted quickly to fire goalwards, with his central defensive partner Brian Onyango inches away from getting his head to the shot that went wide.
After the restart, Matsatsantsa had a great chance to take the lead when Evans Rusike’s cross picked out Modiba, but from six yards out, he stabbed his shot off target.
Modiba, though, was to make no mistake when he put the Tshwane side in front in the 63rd minute with an emphatic penalty.
The spot-kick had been awarded after Pogiso Sanoka was deemed to have tripped James Keene, who had his back to goal as he chased a loose ball – which all came after visiting keeper Richard Ofori had spilled a Modiba free kick.
🗣️ Coach Fadlu— Maritzburg United FC (@MaritzburgUtd) December 15, 2018
"We have to be brave. We have to turn it around. We can't wait for things to happen. Things will go against us but that's where we've got to keep our thinking clear and focus on the job."#WeAreUnited pic.twitter.com/umZJSZI5P5
There was a chance soon after for Keene to add a second when the ball sat up nicely for him on the edge of the area, but he struck his volley straight at Ofori.
Looking to find a way back into the game, Maritzburg enjoyed plenty of possession, but they appeared out of ideas in attack against a disciplined home defence.
It was only in the 83rd minute when the KZN side were able to get in a clear shot, as Keletso Makgalwa’s low drive fizzed marginally wide of the upright.
That proved to be Maritzburg’s final chance as Kaitano Tembo’s team saw out the match in a composed manner to pick up their first win in four league games, moving up to fifth in the process.
African News Agency (ANA)