Absa Premiership

Matsatsantsa edge out 10-man Chiefs

Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)
Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - SuperSport United got their Premiership campaign up and running with a 2-1 win over 10-man Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday.

Chiefs had their backs to the wall early on following a red card to Eric Mathoho for a professional foul after just seven minutes.

A long ball from Ronwen Williams caught them napping and Bradley Grobler raced through on goal before being bundled over by Mathoho just outside the box. Keegan Ritchie failed to capitalise as he sent the resulting free-kick over the crossbar.

Maphosa Modiba should have opened the scoring on 12 minutes after being threaded in on goal by Thuso Phala on the left, but he fired wide of the right post with just Brilliant Khuzwayo to beat.

However, the midfielder made amends a minute later when he headed home from seven yards out after being picked out by Dove Wome's cross from right to cap off a fine team move.

Grobler nearly grabbed a quick-fire second for the visitors as he forced Khuzwayo into a sharp save with his strike from outside the box in the 14th minute.

Amakhosi didn't go into their shell, though, and Hendrick Ekstein went close with a shot from a narrow angle in the left that was kept out by Williams at his near post on 18 minutes.

Ekstein was then at the right place at the right time on the other side of the pitch two minutes later to clear off the line after Matsatsantsa broke upfield through Modiba, whose cross from the left caused panic in the danger area as Khuzwayo collided with Tsepo Masilela and the ball deflected towards goal.

Wome had the ball in the back of the net from close range on 23 minutes but the referee disallowed the goal for offside, while at the other end Williams had to be alert to prevent Clayton Daniels from diverting a corner into his own net two minutes later.

Bernard Parker looked to get Chiefs back in the game just before the break as he cut inside on the right to beat Ritchie before firing over the bar from inside the box, but United doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time.

Teboho Mokoena released Grobler with defence-splitting pass through the middle and the striker slotted his shot across Khuzwayo into the bottom-left corner of the net from 18 yards out.

The hosts continued to show fight in the second half and George Maluleka went close with a long-range strike from the left that flew wide of the far post in the 54th minute.

Siphiwe Tshabalala then twisted and turned inside the area on the left to get off a shot that was tipped over by Williams on 62 minutes, while Willard Katsande headed straight at the keeper moments later.

A sustained spell of pressure from the Glamour Boys finally told three minutes later as Gustavo Paez tapped home from six yards out after Tshabalala headed a cross from the right back across the face of goal.

Khuzwayo was called into action again on 74 minutes as he got down smartly to his right to keep out Mokoena's low shot from distance.

SuperSport looked to slow the game down in the final 10 minutes to counter Chiefs' attacking forays and they managed to hold on in the end.