Phala goal hands SuperSport first win

SuperSport United claimed their first win of the season when they defeated hosts Maritzburg United 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Matsatsantsa’s win – secured by a goal late in the first half from winger Thuso Phala – saw them maintain their unbeaten record in away league matches against the Team of Choice: it’s now 11 trips to Pietermaritzburg without a loss for the Tshwane team.

As for Maritzburg United, it was a first loss of the season, having opened their campaign with a win in Bloemfontein and a creditable draw at home to champions Mamelodi Sundowns last week.

The first half featured plenty of attacking opportunities at both ends of the field, with goalkeepers Virgil Vries and Ronwen Williams having to make several good saves apiece to keep the score line blank.

However, the deadlock was broken just a few minutes before halftime when SuperSport scored a classic counter attack goal. Reneilwe Letsholonyane played one of the best passes of the season so far to send Aubrey Madiba through on goal – he in turn unselfishly squared for Thuso Phala to score into an empty goal.

Maritzburg responded by sending on Sheldon van Wyk at the start of the second half, but it was the visitors who had the first good scoring chance after the break as they saw an effort on goal from a corner kick cleared off his own goal line by defender Brian Onyango.

Yet the Team of Choice grew in confidence as the second stanza proceeded, with Van Wyk’s pace and trickery providing a fine attacking outlet, while the hosts also looked dangerous from set pieces thanks to the aerial power of Dennis Weidlich.

Yet for all their endeavour, Maritzburg were unable to really test Williams in the away side’s goal posts, while SuperSport’s hopes of catching their opponents on the counter attack – a move instilled by the introduction of striker Kingston Nkhatha – didn’t come to fruition either.

Maritzburg were desperately unlucky not to be awarded a penalty late in the game when striker Evans Rusike was tripped in the box by Onismor Bhasera – the referee ignored the Team of Choice’s vociferous appeals and the game ended 1-0 in favour of Matsatsantsa.

Both teams will be in league action again this coming weekend, with Maritzburg playing away to Kaizer Chiefs, while SuperSport will host Free State Stars – both on Saturday.

Maritzburg United 0

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Phala 43’)

Teams:

Maritzburg United: V. Vries, D. Weidlich, B. Fransman, B. Onyango, P. Sanoka, D. Mekoa, K. Lentjies, T. Mogapi (S. Van Wyk 46’), A. Nale (B. Moon 76’), B. Moyo, E. Rusike

SuperSport United: R. Williams, M. Boxall, M. Gould, M. Booysen, O. Bhasera, T. Phala (T. Mnyamane 57’), R. Letsholonyane, D. Furman, A. Modiba, D. Wome (K. Nkhatha 71’), J. Brockie (M. Morton 90+1’)