United hold on against Leopards

SuperSport United held on to secure a 3-2 victory over Black Leopards in an Absa Premiership game at Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening.

Bradley Grobler’s first goal for SuperSport United, along with a Kermit Erasmus brace, secured all three points for Matsatsantsa. Tiyani Mabunda and Rodney Ramagalela were Black Leopards’ goal scorers on the night.

SuperSport United went into the game on the back of a 1-0 victory over Tshwane rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in their last game, while Black Leopards recorded a 2-1 victory over Golden Arrows in their last outing.

The game started off very cagey as both sides looked to settle some nerves. Sameehg Doutie should have opened the scoring for the home side in the fifth minute of the game. The midfielder found himself unmarked inside the box but he was unable to keep his shot down.

Bradley Grobler opened the scoring for Matsatsantsa a minute later. Doutie made a good run into the box and squared the ball into the path of Grobler, who made no mistake from close range. The goal was the striker’s first for the Tshwane side.

Kermit Erasmus had a great chance to double his side’s lead in the 15th minute of the game. The striker beat the offside trap but could only manage to blast his shot over the crossbar from close range.

Ernot Dzaga’s stinging drive in 18th minute nearly opened the visiting side’s account. The defender’s shot from outside the area was narrowly deflected over Ronwen Williams’s crossbar by Innocent Mdledle.

Erasmus doubled Matsatsantsa’s lead in the 23rd minute of the game. Erasmus was cleverly played into the box by Grobler and the striker made no mistake this time around.

The Tshwane outfit extended their lead in the 28th minute of the game after Joshua Obaje was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area. Erasmus smashed the resulting penalty into the back of the net from the spot.

On the half our mark Leopards went close to pulling one back. Nkosiyabo Xakane played a whipping ball into the area but Rodney Ramagalela could only manage to guide his header wide of goal.

Matsatsantsa went into the break three goals to the good. Lidoda Duvha looked dismal and needed a miracle to repeat the 3-3 result between the two sides in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Matsatsantsa started the second stanza the brightest of the sides but it was Leopards who opened their account in the 55th minute of the game.

Raymond Monama made an immediate impact after coming on for David Zulu in the second half. The midfielder played a delightful ball into the feet of Tiyani Mabunda and the player drove a powerful shot past a helpless Williams in goal.

Williams made two brilliant saves to deny Leopards narrowing the gap to one goal in the 63rd minute of the game. The shot-stopper did well to save a ball played across the area before stopping an effort from Ramagalela from the edge of the area.

Ramagalela made sure of an exciting end to the game as he doubled his side’s tally in the 86th minute of the game. The striker headed in from an Abbas Amidu cross to narrow the gap down to one goal.

Matsatsantsa held on to climb into sixth place on the log while Lidoda Duvha remained in 14th position, four points off the foot of the table.

The win means that SuperSport are now 12 games without defeat in all competitions.

SuperSport United (3) 3 (Grobler 6’ Erasmus 23’ 28’)

Black Leopards (0) 2 (Mabunda 53’ Ramagalela 86’)

SuperSport United: Williams; Moloi, Diouf, Gyimah, Mdledle, Gabonamong, Mdluli, Doutie (September 88’), Erasmus, Grobler (Haskins 66’), Nyondo (Nkoana 37’)

Black Leopards: Maphaha, Dzaga, Nyirenda, Khoza, Xakane, Bobe (Amidu 77’), Munganga, Mabunda, Obaje, Ramagalela, Zulu (Monama 53’)