Bradley Grobler’s late goal saw SuperSport United defeat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
The first half was a mostly lethargic affair, with the players wisely conserving their energy in the hot afternoon sun, and there were few clear scoring opportunities for either side.
SuperSport started the stronger of the two teams and had a strong penalty appeal in the 10th minute turned down by the referee. Oupa Manyisa was perhaps fortunate not to have conceded a spot kick with what seemed a trip on Lebogang Manyama near the by-line.
The hosts came close to opening the scoring through Thuso Phala just before the midway point of the first half, but the winger was denied by a good save from goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa.
Pirates gradually established a foothold in the game and finally called Ronwen Williams into notable action in the 23rd minute when Kermit Erasmus shot from just outside the box – his effort resulted in a comfortable save for the ‘keeper.
Four minutes before the end of regulation time in the first half, Williams produced an excellent save to touch a Tlou Segolela shot onto the outside of his near post. Without the young goalkeeper’s slight touch, the ball may well have found its way into the net.
Chances continued to be few and far between in the early part of the second half, but on 63 minutes the persistence of Enocent Mkhabela saw him break through three challenges before shooting on goal, but Meyiwa produced an excellent diving save to turn the ball away.
With 15 minutes to play the Buccaneers made a double change to try and spruce up their attack, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock moments later. Phala broke free down the right and fired in a low cross that Bradley Grobler turned home from close range to make it 1-0 in the 76th minute.
Shortly thereafter Phala almost made it 2-0 with a shot from a tight angle on the right flank, but Meyiwa made another excellent save to keep his side in the contest. The United winger had another great chance on the counter attack in injury time, but he pulled his shot wide of the far post.
SuperSport United (0) 1 (Grobler 76’)
Orlando Pirates 0
SuperSport: Williams, Moloi, Gyimah, Diouf, Mokeke, Phala, Nel, Mkhabela, Manyama, Grobler (Nkoana 85’), Ndlovu (Oliveira 65’)
Pirates: Meyiwa, Jele, Lekgwathi, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Masalesa, Manyisa, Segolela (Makola 75’), Klate (Masuku 87’), Myeni, Erasmus (Gabuza 75’) – Backpage Media