Nkhatha gives SuperSport win

SuperSport United won for the first time this year, beating Free State Stars 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening.

With Stuart Baxter due to take over the reins on Monday, Matsatsantsa were eager not only to get all three points, but to impress their new coach.

If there is one player that will relish the opportunity to work under the former Kaizer Chiefs coach once again it is Kingston Nkhatha, and the hardworking Zimbabwean made all the right moves, scoring the only goal of the game.

Kaitano Tembo manned the bench for the home side, who parted ways with Gordon Igesund in midweek, and got off to the perfect start, scoring on 14 minutes.

Clayton Daniels picked out Nkhatha, who sent his low shot into the left-hand corner, Daouda Diakite unable to keep out the rasping effort.

Stars almost hit back within a minute, Danny Venter unlucky to see his shot cleared off the line by Dean Furman, who himself is desperate to raise his game.

Without the injured duo of Andrea Fileccia and Moeketsi Sekola, Ea Lla Koto were always going to find it difficult in front of goal and struggled to create chances.

When they did manage to conjure an opportunity, they failed to make the most of it with Makhehleni Makhaula, seeing his powerful shot wide with the goal at his mercy on 49 minutes.

At the other end of the park, Mark Mayambela was extremely unfortunate to see his deflected attempt bounce off the crossbar before Justice Chabalala cleared from danger.

Zama Rambuwane made an impact off the bench, with his pace causing the visitors problems - the youngster did well to set up Jeremy Brockie who was superbly denied by the evergreen Paulus Masehe.

Stars piled on the pressure in the closing stages, but SuperSport just about held on - thanks in large to Ronwen Williams, who was excellent under the high ball - to move within one point of their opponents who occupy eighth place on the log standings.

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Nkhatha 14')

Free State Stars 0

Teams:

SuperSport United: Williams, Boxall, September, Daniels, Mpeta, Furman, Mkhabela, Mayambela (Rambuwane 75'), Phala (Booysen 90'), Nkhatha (Wome 59'), Brockie

Free State Stars: Diakite, Mashego, Masehe, Sankara (Kerspuy 83'), Thlone (Ngcobo 62'), Chabalala, Venter, Mohomi, Nkausu, Makhaula, Jaftha (Somaeb 46')