Sekhukhune edge SuperSport, rise to second spot

Tshediso Patjie © Backpagepix

Sekhukhune United defeated SuperSport United 1-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon, rising to second place on the DStv Premiership log as a result.

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Tshediso Patjie’s late goal proved the difference between the two teams – who both had a man sent off early on – with the result seeing Babina Noko move to second spot on 23 points, while Matsatsantsa are sixth on 19 points.

Sekhukhune had the first scoring chance of the game on four minutes, with Pogiso Mahlangu stabbing over the target after Vusimuzi Mncube had inadvertently knocked down Talent Chawapiwa’s hopeful left-wing cross.

Mncube was then shown a straight red card by referee Victor Gomes in the seventh minute, with the match official left little choice by a studs-up challenge on Iqraam Rayners.

Yet SuperSport’s numerical advantage lasted only until the 14th minute when debutant Thalente Mbatha recklessly kicked out at the shins of Cheslyn Jampies and was also shown a straight red, leaving the game (which was not at all bad-tempered) at 10 v 10.

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The hosts adapted quicker to the new dynamics of the clash and bossed possession, forcing Sekhukhune onto the back foot, but chances with which to test visiting goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata did not materialise until later in the half.

Thamsanqa Gabuza was close to putting SuperSport ahead on 38 minutes, sending a shot just wide of the near post after good work down the right flank from the overlapping Keenan Phillips, while injury time saw Jamie Webber strike a long-range effort over the crossbar.

The half ended with the score at 0-0 – and with neither Nsabata nor his counterpart Ronwen Williams having made a single save through the first 45 minutes.

Sekhukhune opted for a double change at the start of the second half, with Prince Nxumalo and Nkanyiso Madonsela rising off the bench to shake things up in attack and midfield respectively.

Yet SuperSport continued to enjoy more of the ball, though again penetrative attacking moves were few and far between. Only in the 71st minute did a shot in anger arrive from the team in blue, with Rayners dragging an effort wide from just outside the penalty area.

Less than a minute later Babina Noko had a great chance to claim the lead when a breakaway handed Madonsela a great sight of goal, but he was denied by a fine one-handed save from Williams.

The ‘keeper then almost immediately made another fine stop when he kept out Willard Katsande’s goal-bound header from the subsequent corner kick.

SuperSport’s first change saw Bradley Grobler replace Rayners and join Gabuza in a two-pronged strike force, but it was Sekhukhune who claimed a late winner when Tshediso Patjie finished past Williams on 87 minutes, having been put in on goal by two fine passes from Seth Parusnath and Madonsela.

The teams will return to DStv Premiership action on Wednesday 8 December, with SuperSport away to Stellenbosch FC and Sekhukhune at home to Marumo Gallants.

SuperSport United 0
Sekhukhune United (0) 1 (Patjie 87’)

SUPERSPORT: Williams, Phillips, Johannes (Nhlapo 83’), Ditlhokwe, Bhasera, Mbatha, Donn, Webber, Rayners (Grobler 76’), Lungu, Gabuza

SEKHUKHUNE: Nsabata, Mobbie, Motsepe, Gyimah, Jampies, Maart, Katsande (Parusnath 82’), Patjie (Rakhale 88’), Mahlangu (Nxumalo 46’), Mncube, Chawapiwa (Madonsela 46’)