SuperSport fail to shake off final hangover

Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)
Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - A post-CAF Confederation Cup final hangover for SuperSport United continued on Sunday as they slumped 3-1 at Baroka in their Absa Premiership encounter.

As it happened: Baroka FC v SuperSport United

Pretoria-based SuperSport fell 2-1 on aggregate to title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo last month in the second-tier African club competition.

Forced to play fixture catch-up in the Absa Premiership after the final, SuperSport have won only once in five league matches, taking just five points from a possible 15.

They lie 11th, only four points above bottom club Wits, the Johannesburg-based defending champions who have managed only two victories in 14 matches.

It could get even worse for SuperSport as they face a daunting trip to Bloemfontein Celtic next Wednesday for the final Absa Premiership fixture of the year.

United coach Eric Tinkler admitted after the defeat by Baroka in northern city Polokwane that his team are battling to overcome the disappointment of failing against Mazembe.

"We are emotionally and psychologically drained after the CAF final," admitted the former national team midfielder who was part of the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations-winning side.

"However, that is no excuse for our poor Premiership form. We are professional footballers who are giving away too many soft goals since the CAF final."

Slack marking allowed Lucky Nguzana to give Baroka a 1-0 half-time advantage and for Letladi Madubanya to restore the lead on 72 minutes after Nigerian Azubuike Egwuekwe equalised.

Mduduzi Mdantsane completed the scoring and ensured a first win in eight Premiership games for Baroka by sidefooting a cross into the net a minute into stoppage time.

Victory lifted Baroka five places to third, level on points with Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars and six behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Former African champions Sundowns can stretch their advantage to nine points Tuesday if they defeat fifth-place Cape Town City in Pretoria.

In the other Sunday match, Golden Arrows drew for the ninth time in 15 matches after a dull 0-0 stalemate with Maritzburg United in Indian Ocean port city Durban.

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