Durban - Sameehg Doutie scored the only goal as SuperSport United climbed to fourth place on the Premiership table with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows in KwaMashu, outside Durban, on Sunday.
The lively winger finished cleverly with a low shot from seven yards out in the 71st minute after being set up by Thabo Moloi from the right.
The hosts played three-quarter of the game with 10 men after goalkeeper Nkosi Gumede was shown a straight red card after 22 minutes for catching striker Bradley Grobler with a late challenge outside the box.
It was a result that left Manqoba Mngqithi’s team in 13th place and still facing a battle to avoid relegation.
United began brightly on a hot autumn afternoon on the east coast and should have taken the lead after six minutes when Doutie picked out Grobler, who somehow headed wide.
Arrows tried to hit back with a training-ground routine that saw Sibusiso Hadebe take a short free-kick to Siyanda Zwane on the right to catch the visiting defence off guard, although the attempt was skewed horribly wide.
Moments later Thamsanqa Gabuza managed to wrestle away from his man, before dipping his strike just over the bar.
Then came the red card when the Abafana Bes’thende defence was caught out by the long ball and Gumede given little choice than to charge out of his area, although he did catch Grobler and was dismissed by referee Buyile Gqubule.
From the resulting Doutie free-kick, Gavin Hunt’s men came closest to scoring as Mogogi Gabonamong flicked a header onto the base of the right upright.
The pressure continued on the quickly tiring 10 men of Arrows and Mark Haskins was next to have a sight of goal, only to drag just wide from the edge of the box.
Grobler again headed over when picked out in the box, this time by Ashley Hartog from the right.
Three minutes into the second half the home team were fortunate not to have had a second goalkeeper sent off when Pavels Steinbors handled the ball outside the area with referee Gqubule only cautioning the Latvian.
The match went into a lull thereafter as both teams waited for the other to take the initiative.
The goal finally arrived with 19 minutes to play as Doutie received a sharp pass from Moloi from the right, quickly picked his spot and fired beyond Steinbors.
The lively Clifford Mulenga had two chances to seal victory in the closing stages when he first forced the Arrows custodian to tip over, before firing tamely at Steinbors under pressure from Joseph Musonda.
Matsatsantsa also had their young goalkeeper Ronwen Williams to thank as he saved from Sibusiso Hadebe and replacement Lucky Nguzana to hand his side the three points.