Absa Premiership

SuperSport edge Arrows in Durban thriller

SuperSport United striker Evans Rusike is relishing his first knockout competition final in the PSL.PHOTO: gallo images
SuperSport United striker Evans Rusike is relishing his first knockout competition final in the PSL.PHOTO: gallo images

Cape Town - SuperSport United edged a spirited Golden Arrows side in a thrilling Absa Premier Soccer League tie at the sun-baked Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban on Sunday.

Arrows enjoyed the brighter start, with controlled possession earning a free kick which was thwarted by the United defence and a corner two minutes later, which United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.

But the first real chance of the match came from Bradley Grobler in the 15th minute. The striker controlled a difficult cross superbly with his first touch, putting the ball in behind the Arrows defence. Grobler raced to get a right foot shot in but Arrows gloveman Nkosi Gumede was quick off his line to snuffle the strike.

Matsatsantsa opened the scoring in the 27th minute after a period of sustained attack. A defensive error put Aubrey Modiba in space, who cut back and put a delightful ball up for Evans Rusike, who guided the ball home with his head.

Just two minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead in nearly identical fashion. A backheel from Modiba put Teboho Mokoena in space and he crossed the ball for a rising Mxolisi Macuphu, whose header was deathly accurate, leaving Gumede clutching at the air.

Rusike nearly had a second eight minutes later with a streaking run deep into the box but a sprawling Gumede met him and got a foot to his shot.

After holding out for the rest of the opening stanza, Arrows breathed a sigh of relief as they headed down the tunnel.

But the hosts would strike back early in the second half thanks to an unfortunate handball inside the area from United defender Clayton Daniels. His teammate Dean Furman blocked a shot and the ball careered into Daniels’ outstretched arm, leaving the official no choice but to award a penalty.

Forward Knox Mutizwa stepped up and calmly drove the ball home into the right hand side of the net to make it 2-1 in the 56th minute.

The goal seemed to spark Arrows to life, as they levelled matters minutes later. Danny Venter went on a run in the middle of the park and provided a superb cross for a charging Seth Parusnath, who executed a glancing header, sending the Arrows faithful into raptures.

But they were silenced by a goal in the dying embers of the match. United’s Mokoena produced a piece of magic, shooting from over 30 yards out and curling the ball into the top left corner for what surely has to be a contender for the goal of the season.

There were some frantic moments on defence as the minutes ticked away but Supersport were able to hang on for an important victory.

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