Witbank - Santos registered their second win of the 2010/11 Absa Premiership season thanks to a solitary penalty goal from Erwin Isaacs that saw his side beat MP Black Aces 1-0 in a league match at the Puma Rugby Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The first 45 minutes saw Aces playing the better football in front of their home fans as Santos struggled to get hold of the ball, especially in the opening stages of the game.
The People’s Team looked a little unsettled and gifted Aces possession with some poor passing. Nonetheless, with the majority of the ball the home side were not really able to create any clear-cut chances in front of goal.
They did, however, come close to scoring the match’s opening goal when Lottie Phiri hit the woodwork with a powerful header in the 11th minute. Phiri rose highest to head a corner-kick goalwards, but saw his 12-yard header rebound off the crossbar.
Thereafter Santos slowly found their way into the game and despite not doing much attacking, definitely looked the more threatening when going forward. Certainly after the thirty minute mark the People’s Team created the best chances of the half.
In the 33rd minute some nice interchanges by the Santos players saw Shafeeg Arendse with a chance on goal from only 12-yards out, but he pulled his effort narrowly wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.
Graham King then appeared to break the deadlock five minutes later with a fantastic goal, struck from just inside the left-hand side of the box, which found the top right hand-corner, but he was adjudged off-side, wrongly so.
King was at the thick of the action again in the 40th minute when he curled a beautiful 25-yard free-kick around the defensive wall and towards the top corner of the net. Denis Onyango, however, was at his best and made a great save diving full stretch to his left to tip the effort over the crossbar.
The second half started a little slowly but quickly sprung into action when the referee awarded a penalty in favour of the People’s Team in the 51st minute. The referee adjudged Ace’s Marc Eberle to have tugged on the shirt of Eleazar Rodgers inside the box. Consequently, Erwin Isaacs stepped-up and made no mistake from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way and giving his side the lead, 1-0.
Only 13 minutes later and Aces were also awarded a penalty of their own after Wayne Arendse pulled down Brice Aka inside the box. Luckily for Santos, though, Mpho Maleka was not as clinical from the spot as Isaacs. Maleka’s poor penalty kick was comfortably saved by Tshepo Motsoeneng.
That was about as god as it got for the side from Mpumalanga as they could not break down the stubborn Santos defence and the game ended 1-0 in favour of the People’s Team.
MP Black Aces (0) 0
Santos (0) 1 (Isaacs 53’ pen)
Aces: Onyango, Da Silva, Eberle, Musasa, Henyekane, Zuke, Mbatha, Phiri (Twala 47’), Masondo (Nkosi 63’), Aka, Maleka
Santos: Motsoeneng, Ntloana, Skippers, W Arendse, Otieno, King, E Isaacs, S Arendse (Mponda 63’), Basie (Macala 86’), T Arendse, Rodgers (Spelman 68’)