SSU win derby to remain top
George Maluleka (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - George Maluleka’s first half strike has guided SuperSport United back to the top of the PSL table as they defeated Tshwane rivals University of Pretoria 1-0 in a fiercely contested encounter played at Tuks Stadium on Wednesday night.
Former SuperSport United defender Grant Kekana started in defence for the home side, which also included a start for Latshene Phalane, who is on-loan at Tuks from Rustenburg side Platinum Stars.
Bafana Bafana centre back Buhle Mkhwanazi failed to make the match day squad.
Mame Niang started upfront for Matsatsantsa at the stadium where he enjoyed reasonable success last season.
Bennett Chenene, who was ruled out of the fixture earlier this week, passed a late fitness test to make the match day squad.
Mpho Maruping nearly gave the hosts the perfect start but the midfielder could only manage to trouble the crossbar with a powerful header from close range in the fourth minute.
SuperSport United started to find their groove as the match wore on, finding gaps in the AmaTuks defence.
Mame Niang and Thuso Phala though were guilty of poor first touches when they seemed to have a clear path to goal.
George Maluleka opened the scoring on the night in the 26th minute of the encounter.
The midfielder drove the ball past Washington Arubi from a tight angle to give the away side the lead.
AmaTuks nearly found the equaliser through first Obadiah Tarumbwa and then Mpho Matsi on the half hour mark.
Tarumbwa forced a good save out of Ronwen Williams from close range before Matsi’s acrobatic effort from range narrowly missed the crossbar.
Obadiah Tarumbwa found the back of the net on the stroke of halftime with a superbly placed header.
The goal was chalked off, however, as the referee adjudged the Zimbabwean of fouling a Matsatsantsa player in the build-up to the goal.
George Maluleka’s 26th minute strike was the difference between the two sides at the break.
The second stanza produced limited chances for either side, as both set of defences stood firm.
Second half substitute Thabo Mosadi drew a fine stop out of Wlliams seconds after coming on the 75th minute of the encounter.
The Matsatsantsa number one did well to direct a powerful shot from the Tuks forward away from goal.
Tuks threw everything forward in search of the equaliser but came up short in their attempts.
The loss leaves them lingering in the drop zone while the win moves Matsatsantsa back to the summit of the PSL table. Scores:
University of Pretoria:
(1) 1 (Maluleka 26’) Teams:University of Pretoria:
Arubi, Moussono-Moussono, Shoyisa, Monyai, Kekana, Phalane, Matsi, Maruping (Selolwane 81’), Ngubane, Mathosi (Mosadi 72’), Tarumbwa (Fikru 75’) SuperSport United:
Williams, Moeketsi, September, Diouf, Nkausu, Maluleka, Gyimah, Lentjies (Mathebula 60’), Chenene (Mkhabela 75’), Phala, Niang (Grobler 87’)PSL results from Wednesday night:
Free State Stars 2-0 Maritzburg United
Wits 1-0 Golden Arrows
Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Platinum Stars
Polokwane City 2-3 Bloemfontein Celtic
University Of Pretoria 0-1 Supersport UnitedTuesday:
AmaZulu 1-2 Black Aces
Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Moroka Swallows