SuperSport United edge Maritzburg in Nelspruit

SuperSport United got back to winning form in the Absa Premiership by defeating Maritzburg United 1-0 at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday evening.

Aubrey Modiba’s penalty proved decisive, securing three points for Matsatsantsa and sending them to fifth place on the log. The Team of Choice have now gone eight league matches without a win and remain in 15th place.

The sides took their time to settle in and the first real effort in anger arrived in the 15th minute, with Maritzburg’s Deolin Mekoa latching onto a loose ball on the edge of the box to shoot on target, but Ronwen Williams made a comfortable save.

SuperSport’s best chance of the half saw young midfielder Sipho Mbule drive an effort on target from just outside the box in the 35th minute, but he was unlucky to see the ball strike his own teammate Aubrey Modiba.

With both teams struggling to ‘click’ in attack, it was no surprise that the first half finished with the score locked at 0-0.

Matsatsantsa had the first scoring opportunity of the second half, with Teboho Mokoena providing a good low cross in the 50th minute but a sliding Modiba was unable to direct the ball on target from close range.

However, Modiba made up for his earlier errors by converting a 63rd minute penalty to put United 1-0 up. The spot kick was conceded by Pogiso Sanoka for an unnecessary trip on James Keene, who was moving away from goal in the 18-yard area.

Maritzburg responded with a double substitution on 73 minutes, introducing both Keletso Makgalwa and Yazid Atouba to spark his attack into life and find a way back into the contest.

The former nearly claimed an equaliser in the 84th minute, driving a low shot just wide of Williams’ left-hand post. That was as close as Maritzburg came to an equaliser, as they slumped to a fourth loss of the campaign.

The teams will be in action next weekend, in the final group of Absa Premiership matches of 2018, when Maritzburg play host to Baroka FC on December 22 and SuperSport go away to Highlands Park the following day.

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Modiba 63’ pen)

Maritzburg United 0

SuperSport: Williams, Kekana, Khumalo, Daniels, Bhasera, Mokoena, Mbule (Nhlapo 85’), Ntshangase, Modiba (Lungu 90+2’), Rusike, Keene

Maritzburg: Ofori, de Reuck, Xulu, Onyango, Sanoka (Atouba 73’), Figueredo (Makgalwa 73’), Makaringe, Ndlovu, Kunene, Mekoa, Mokate (Zakri 84’)