Rampant United down Chiefs
Bennett Chenene (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - Trailing at half-time, SuperSport United scored two goals in five minutes, helping them to their third straight Premiership victory, beating Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday evening.
Chiefs took the lead on the half-hour mark through Bernard Parker from the penalty spot, before Enocent Mkhabela's rocketed effort pulled United level 10 minutes after the break.
Then, 20 minutes from time, Bennett Chenene put United ahead, before Bradley Grobler scored from a penalty four minutes later, leaving the Soweto giants withering against a rampant SuperSport outfit.
Having sat back and remained patient for much of the opening half, Siphiwe Tshabalala had the first real chance of the game in the 18th minute, after he was expertly picked out by Bernard Parker with a searching ball.
Tshabalala controlled the overhead ball after SuperSport defender Thabo September missed the clearance, allowing the Chiefs wideman to unleash a dangerous effort from a tight angle, which was parried away by Ronwen Williams in goal.
Chiefs continued to put pressure on the United defence and when Edwin Gyimah raised his hands and got a touch to Knowledge Musona's delivery into the box, referee Robert Smith was left with no choice but to award the penalty to the visitors.
Parker's clinical finish into the bottom right of goal from the spot-kick put the Amakhosi in control, and shortly after the interval Tshabalala saw his free-kick effort saved by Williams, before the hosts hit back in emphatic style.
A superb build-up from the Pretoria side sent them deep into Chiefs' half, with David Mathebula laying-up for Mkhabela on the edge of the area.
Mkhabela did not hesitate and thundered his left-footed effort goalwards, beating Itumeleng Khune for pace and power and canceling the Amakhosi's advantage in the 55th minute.
Musona missed a golden opportunity to reclaim the lead, but his shot was scrambled away following an excellent stop from Williams, who kept his side in the contest and denied Musona his first goal since re-joining Chiefs in June.
But Matsatsantsa were in control as the game opened up, and before long, Chenene doubled the home side's lead, following a quick counter-attacking movement, which put Thuso Phala through on goal.
Phala, who received an accurate ball Mkhabela in midfield, had his shot saved by Khune in goal, Chenene, however, was on hand at the back post and slotted into an empty net, as the goalkeeper was left stranded.
But Chiefs' woes were far from over. Just three minutes later, Chenene was in the thick of the action once more and was brought down in the area by Siboniso Gaxa.
Smith checked with his assistant on the touchline before pointing to the spot, awarding the night's second spot-kick, which Grobler converted, putting United two goals clear.
With their two goal cushion, United were happy to cling onto their lead, as they wound down the clock for a vital win early in the season, which puts them in a commanding position and early favourites to challenge Chiefs for the league title.