SuperSport regain top spot despite draw

SuperSport United regained their position at the top of the Absa Premiership standings when they played to a 1-1 draw against AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Thuso Phala opened the scoring for the away side in the early stages of the match before an own-goal from Bevan Fransman brought AmaZulu back midway through the first half.

The visitors who broke the deadlock in the 9th minute when Larry Horaeb failed to clear a pass from Mame Niang, allowing Phala to race through on the left before placing his right-footed shot past Tapuwa Kapini from close range.

Usuthu came close to leveling matters seven minutes later when Nkosinathi Mthiyane delivered an inswinging cross from the right to find Carlington Nyadombo inside the box, but his powerful header was tipped over the crossbar by Ronwen Williams.

A minute later Ayanda Dlamini went on a great run on the right before playing a low cross towards the six-yard box, but somehow Njabulo Manqana failed to connect with the goal at his mercy.

Craig Rosslee’s side were eventually back on level terms in the 28th minute when Fransman attempted to clear a cross from Nkosinathi Mthiyane, but the SuperSport united captain sliced his clearance past his own goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

From then on it was Usuthu who looked like scoring their second goal and Mthiyane came close to handing his side the lead in added time when he was put through by Manqana on the left, only to fire his low shot inches wide of the far post.

The hosts fired the first shot in anger in the second half with Kulegani Madondo trying his luck from a long way out after he was given too much, but the midfielder sent his short over the crossbar.

Usuthu had another good opportunity to go ahead when they were awarded a freekick on the hour mark; Marc Van Heerden managed to get the ball on target but his effort lacked the power and direction to trouble Williams.

Ayanda Dlamini should have done better in the 72nd minute when he was picked out by a cross from Mthiyane at the far post, but he delayed his shot and allowed Williams to come across to make the block.

Eleven minutes later substitute Sithembiso Ngcobo collected a low cross from Larry Horaeb on the turn before drilling the ball towards the target, but Williams went down quickly to make the save.

In the 87th minute Mthiyane blasted over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area, while substitute Kurt Lentjies also failed to test Kapini at the other end a minute later as he also directed his shot over the target.

Ngcobo should’ve stolen maximum points at the death for his home side in the third minute of added time when a defensive error from Enocent Mkhabela allowed him through on goal, but his shot was blocked by Williams.

The result moves Supersport United up to first place with 11 points, while AmaZulu are in fourth place with the same number of points.

AmaZulu (1) 1 (Fransman OG 28’)

SuperSport United (1) 1 (Phala 9’)

Teams:

AmaZulu: Kapini, Horaeb, Teyise, Nyadombo, Van Heerden, Madondo, Dlamini G (Nsele 88’), Manqana, Mthiyane, Dlamini A, Ndulula (Ngcobo 69’)

SuperSport United: Williams, Moloi, Gyimah, Gabonamong, Khumalo, Fransman, Maluleka (Mathebula 53’), Doutie (Lentjies 82’), Mkhabela, Niang (Grobler 63’), Phala