Thuso Phala (centre) celebrates scoring the opener for SuperSport United on Sunday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

TEMBISA – Although they failed to be the first Ke Yona team to beat a PSL side in the Nedbank Ke Yona Challenge in the last four years, this year’s group can walk away knowing that they were the first side to at least pull one back within the 90 minutes of play.

Second-half substitute Zamuxolo Mduli was the scorer of that goal in a 2-1 defeat to SuperSport United on Sunday, after Mondli Mpoto failed to handle a deflected shot from a set-piece.

In the first period, Eric Tinkler paced up and down in his own box, bellowing instructions on to the pitch for a good 35 minutes, charging his side to press forward.

Matsatsantsa a Pitori were inviting pressure into their own half by sitting back and not being too aggressive up in the final third against the amateur Ke Yona side.

The Ke Yona team could have made Mpoto work for his money between the sticks in the first half, but it was their lack of technique in front of goal which let them down.

At the back of his mind, Tinkler didn’t want to be the first coach to concede within the 90, or lose, against the Ke Yona team since this cup friendly was established back in 2013. Last year, Matsatsantsa won 1-0.

Eventually Matsatsantsa responded to his instructions and picked up speed just nine minutes before the break, netting two beautiful goals through Thuso Phala and Aubrey Modiba.

Matsatsantsa’s first goal came through Phala, who unleashed a cracker of a shot to beat Mduduzi Khumalo between the sticks, following a sweet long ball from Modiba across the field.

The latter headed the second into the back of the net after receiving an inch-perfect cross from new signing Siyabonga Nhlapo, who was starting his first match in Matsatsantsa colours.

In the second period, both sides struggled to unlock one another in the rearguard, but a clumsy mistake from Mpoto allowed the Ke Yona side to pull one back through second-half substitute Mduli.


IOL Sport