Aubrey Modiba scored a penalty to secure a win for SuperSport United over Amazulu. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

ATTERIDGEVILLE – SuperSport United had to work hard to get the better of a plucky AmaZulu side, but eventually emerged victorious 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.

The result sees SuperSport climb to fifth on the league standings, while AmaZulu remain rooted to the basement of the log.

The game got off to a slow start, with the two teams just sussing each other out. Neither was prepared to risk and the action was confined to dour midfield exchanges.

The first scoring opportunity, though, accrued to the home side, SuperSport, when Thamsanqa Gabuza played Evans Rusike into space, but the striker’s effort was saved by AmaZulu goalkeeper Siyabonga Mbatha.

At the other end, Durban-based AmaZulu had their chance on goal in the 16th minute from a free-kick, but Tapelo Xoki could only manage to steer his attempt over the bar.

AmaZulu’s Bongi Ntuli also tried to make things happen for his team with a driving run and shot, but his effort was easily dealt with by SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

In the 38th minute, SuperSport were awarded a penalty, which Aubrey Modiba converted calmly from the spot to give the Pretoria-based club a 1-0 lead.

AmaZulu picked up the tempo in the second half as they tried to get back on level terms. SuperSport, though, remained compact and organised, and proved difficult to break down.

And, when their defence was breached, when AmaZulu's Ntuli jumped high to power a header goalwards, Williams was equal to the task with a superb stop.

SuperSport were forced into a substitution after an injury to Gamphani Lungu, and he was replaced by Kudakwashe Mahachi.

In a bid to get back into it, AmaZulu looked to their bench, with Jabu Ncobeni coming on for Sphesihle Maduna. Soon after, SuperSport responded with a substitution of their own as Sipho Mbule was replaced by Jamie Webber.

SuperSport finished the game strongly and had three opportunities to increase their advantage in the final 10 minutes. On two occasions, Mbatha saved to prevent substitute Mahachi from scoring, while Rusike could only wonder in amazement as his header sailed wide of the target. 

African News Agency (ANA)