Pretoria - SuperSport United secured their status as an ABSA Premiership team when the defeated Baroka 1-0 in Saturday afternoon's clash at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium in Pretoria.
The home team were by far the hungrier side in the contest such was their need for the three points, and they hit the front in the 26th minute through a Aubrey Modiba penalty.
Baroka were in debt to goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini who made some good saves to ensure the scoreline stayed at 1-0. In the second stanza, Reneilwe Letsholonyane came close with a long range strike.
It was SuperSport who had their foot on the accelerator in the opening stages with their PSL status potentially on the line. They came out of the blocks quickly against a sluggish looking Baroka, and nearly hit the front inside the first five minutes.
Coach Kaitano Tembo's men were close to opening the scoring when Mogakolodi Ngele broke free in space, however, his effort whistled wide of Dlamini's goal in the third minute. The momentum stayed with Matsatsantsa as they continued to pile forwards in pursuit of a goal which would release the tension in the air surrounding the stadium. In the 26th minute they made their dominance count after a foul was committed in the area.
Modiba, displaying admirable composure given the circumstances, stepped up and slotted the ball beyond Dlamini into the back of the net.
Bakgaga were offering little to no threat going forward as it appeared the visitors were already preparing for their post-season holidays, such was their relative lack of inventiveness and quality in all thirds of the pitch.
After the break, United nearly doubled the advantage through 35-year-old veteran Letsholonyane though Dlamini was sharp to make a good save. The former Bafana Bafana star found space centrally from distance, before he struck a searing effort which the keeper palmed away.
It was largely one-way traffic as Teboho Mokoena ranged forward and hit a curling strike on goal, though it sailed wide of the upright in the 73rd minute.
Meanwhile, Evans Rusike in attack had been lively throughout the encounter though he was guilty of not doing better with a number of half-chances that came his way. Nonetheless, the final whistle came to jubilant scenes in Pretoria as SuperSport claimed a valuable three points.