Cape Town - Thuso Phala scored the only goal of the game to see SuperSport United to a victory over Maritzburg United in an Absa Premiership match at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.
It was Matsatsantsa’s first victory of the 2016/17 season, while the Team of Choice tasted defeat for the first time after their promising start to the campaign.
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 half time 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.
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.