Phala, Chenene send United to third

SuperSport United moved up to third place on the Absa Premiership log with a 2-0 win over Mpumalanga Black Aces at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Wednesday evening.

Goals from Thuso Phala and Bennett Chenene either side of the interval moved Matsatsantsa within 11 points of pacesetters Kaizer Chiefs who were held to a 2-2 draw by Maritzburg United on Tuesday.

SuperSport United coach Cavin Johnson made a solitary change to the outfit that lost 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs last week.

Bennett Chenene came in for the suspended Enocent Mkhabela.

Meanwhile, Thabo September was named among the substitutes alongside new signing Joao de Olivier.

Black Aces mentor Clive Barker handed Tendai Ndoro his full debut, the Zimbabwean partnered former Matsatsantsa ace Mabhudi Khenyeza in attack. Former Orlando Pirates striker Thulasizwe Mbuyane was named on the bench.

Former United fullback Innocent Mdledle missed out due to injury.

Neither side could grab hold of the encounter in the early exchanges with possession being surrendered on every occasion.

Bennett Chenene looked dangerous down the left flank for the hosts, but the former Moroka Swallows attacker lacked the killer instinct.

SuperSport United finally breached Amazayoni’s defence in the 28th minute of the encounter.

Bafana Nhlapo brilliantly denied Sameehg Doutie who was through on goal, but Phala was there to tap in the rebound and subsequently net his second goal of the campaign.

Nhlapo pulled off another good save to keep out Dino Ndlovu’s effort from range in the 35th minute, this time though the Aces shot-stopper managed to gather the rebound before a United player could react.

Ndoro had a glorious chance to level matters on the stroke of halftime but the midfielder pulled his shot wide with just Ronwen Williams to beat.

Amazayoni controlled the pace in the early moments of the second stanza, bossing possession while frustrating United who struggled to get their foot on the ball.

Chenene found his killer instinct on the hour mark with a stunning solo effort.

The speedster gathered a through ball from Doutie before running half the length of the field, cutting inside and stroking the ball past a helpless Nhlapo to double the hosts lead to 2-0.

Aces piled forward as the half grew to an end, but subsequently looked increasingly vulnerable on the counter-attack.

Both sides continued to create chances but failed to convert, Phala and Khenyeza notably squandering clear-cut opportunities on either side of the pitch in the final minutes of the match.

The win moves SuperSport up to third place on the log while Aces slide down one place into 12th.

United (1) 2 (Phala 28’Chenene 60’)
Mpumalanga Black Aces (0) 0

United: Williams; Moloi, Fransman, Diouf, Doutie (Nkoana 90+1), Chenene (Mathebula 67’) , Ndlovu (Olivier 77’), Phala, Manyama, Dean, Mokeke

Black Aces: Nhlapo; Mabaso, Nato, Mwanjale, Kobola (Mulenga 83’), Ngalo, Zuke, Zwane, Nale (Qalinge 69’), Ndoro (Mbuyane 75’), Khenyeza