Absa Premiership

Chiefs start off 2020 with loss at SuperSport

2020-01-04 20:07
Ernst Middendorp
Ernst Middendorp (Getty Images)

Cape Town - SuperSport United claimed the scalp of league leaders Kaizer Chiefs with a 2-1 win at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday evening, reigniting their title hopes in the process.

Matsatsantsa claimed an early lead through Bradley Grobler and held onto their advantage heading into the half-time break, only for Chiefs to draw level through a Daniel Cardoso penalty three minutes into the second period.

But is was former Pirates frontman Thamsanqa Gabuza who had the last say, sweeping the ball home at the back post to help his side to a memorable victory.

The visitors started the match on the front foot, dominating possession in the opening spell of play.

Their spell of dominance almost resulted in a goal in the eighth minute, but Leonardo Castro fired over with a half-volley from the edge of the area.

And Chiefs were made to rue that missed chance as SuperSport went on to claim the lead with their first shot on goal, Grobler heading home at the back post from Teboho Mokoena's inviting cross into the danger area.

Amakhosi redoubled their efforts after failing behind and they went agonsingly close to drawing level when George Maluleka struck the post with a curling free-kick on 15 minutes.

However, SuperSport maintained their threat on the break and very nearly doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute as Furman pounced on a blocked free-kick before forcing Chiefs keeper Daniel Akpeyi into making a save.

Chiefs were again cursing their luck in the 27th minute as Samir Nurkovic was also denied by the woodwork, before the Serbian failed to make clean contact with an attempted volley from close range, allowing SuperSport keeper Ronwen Williams to snap up the ball with ease.

SuperSport finished strongly, though, causing the Chiefs defence some problems as Evans Rusike's goal-bound shot was deflected behind for a corner, with the resulting set piece eventually leading to Kudakwashe Mahachi firing a long-range shot over the bar.

The visitors finally got the breakthrough they were looking for three minutes into the second half, Daniel Cardoso converting from the penalty spot after Clayton Daniels was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

Buoyed by the equaliser, Chiefs kept pressing forward as they went in search of a second, with Maluleka forcing Williams into making a reaction save at the near post with his legs, before Castro sent a glancing header wide of the goal, and Reeve Frosler headed straight at the SuperSport keeper.

But just as it had transpired in the first half, SuperSport again scored against the run of play in the 62nd minute, former Pirates striker Thamsanqa Gabuza slotting the ball into an unguarded net at the back post following Mahachi's cross into the box.

The goal sparked a swift response from Amakhosi, with Nurkovic firing wide of the left-hand post on the half-volley, before the Serbian was again denied by the post in the 71st minute.

They kept up the pressure, though, again going close from a free-kick as Maluleka was denied by Williams in the SuperSport goal.

And Williams again came to SuperSport's rescue in the 78th minute, pulling off a magnificent fingertip save to deny substitute Dumisani Zuma what appeared to be a certain goal.

SuperSport's outfield players showed their gratitude by twice threatening to add another goal in the closing stages, with substitute Gamphani Lungu seeing his left-footed volley somehow kept out by the diving Akpeyi, before firing over from close range following a well worked one-two on the edge of the box.

That last miss did not come back to haunt the hosts, however, as they held on in the remaining minutes to claim a much-needed victory over the league leaders.

- TEAMTalk

 

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Fixtures
Friday, 24 January 2020
Cape Town City v Black Leopards, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
SuperSport United v Chippa United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 25 January 2020
Stellenbosch v Polokwane City, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Kaizer Chiefs, Moses Mabhida Stadium 15:30
Orlando Pirates v AmaZulu, Orlando Stadium 18:00
Sunday, 26 January 2020
Baroka FC v Maritzburg United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
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