SuperSport defeat Polokwane at home

Thabiso Tema (L) of Polokwane City challenges Reneilwe Letsholonyane © Backpagepix

SuperSport United defeated hosts Polokwane City 3-2 in an entertaining Absa Premiership match at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening.

Matsatsantsa were twice pegged back by Rise and Shine, but Thuso Phala’s goal 13 minutes from time proved the decisive moment of the match. The result sees the Pretoria side move up to 45 points in fifth place, while the Limpopo club are sixth on 37 points.

SuperSport got off to a flying start, as they claimed the lead inside the opening 60 seconds: youngster Teboho Mokoena provided a cross from the right flank and Morgan Gould powered home a classic header to make it 1-0.

Both sides look dangerous from set pieces and it was no surprise to see Polokwane’s equaliser arrive from a dead-ball situation in the 29th minute. Rise and Shine played the ball short for Simphiwe Hlongwane, whose cross from the left was headed home by defender Tshepo Tema to make it 1-1.

The Limpopo side should have claimed the lead in the dying minutes of the first half, when a pin-point pass from Jabu Maluleke put Rodney Ramagalela in on goal, but Ronwen Williams did just enough to thwart the striker by diving at his feet.

United reclaimed the ascendancy through a superb goal from Jeremy Brockie a couple of minutes before the hour mark. The New Zealander got on the end of a lofted diagonal from Dean Furman and struck a perfectly sliced volley off his laces, with the ball finding the top corner to make it 2-1.

However, just five minutes later, Maluleke won the ball in midfield, powered forward and teed up youngster Vusimuzi Mngomezulu, who fired a low shot past Willams to make it 2-2.

The match’s fifth goal arrived in the 77th minute, with Thabo Mnyamane and Reneilwe Letsholonyane combining to set up Thuso Phala, who scored from a tight angle past George Chigova to make it 3-2 to United.

Two minutes later City almost equalised for a third time when Salulani Phiri chipped a cross into the box which was headed goalward by Edgar Manaka, but Williams come up with a fine save even as he fell backwards.

On 84 minutes United looked to seal the three points with another goal as Brockie flicked on a cross from Phala - the ball had the beating of Chigova, but rebounded to safety off the woodwork.

Polokwane City (1) 2 (Tema 29’, Mngomezulu 63’)

SuperSport United (1) 3 (Gould 1’, Brockie 58’, Phala 77’)

Polokwane: Chigova, Semenya, Tshilo, Tema, Hlongwane, Phiri (Tlolane 85’), Mngomezulu, J. Maluleke, Manaka, Ramagalela, Musona (Ngobe 88’)

SuperSport: Williams, Boxall, Gould, Daniels, Ritchie, Mokoena, Furman, Phala, Letsholonyane, Mnyamane, Brockie (Booysen 90+2’)