CAPE TOWN – SuperSport United defeated luckless 10-man Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in their DStv Premiership match at the Lucas ‘Masterpieces’ Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, on Tuesday evening.
Much against the run of play, SuperSport led 1-0 at the break after Chiefs dominated first-half play for long spells but could not reap a reward for their efforts.
Chiefs’ three corners in the opening 10 minutes showed great attacking intent straight from the kick-off. However, SuperSport’s defence managed to absorb the early pressure, and their cause was helped by poor scoring efforts from Chiefs marksmen.
SuperSport’s midfield did not have an answer to Chiefs’ penetrative approach work which produced excellent scoring chances for Lebogang Manyama and Njabulo Blom. Most of the Chiefs’ thrust was down the middle and produced some promising sorties into the opposition goalmouth.
SuperSport were shut out for long spells by a compact Chiefs defence and as a result, they barely managed to take play out of their half in the opening 26 minutes.
All in all, the opening 25 minutes produced was the best play by Chiefs this season and it looked like the belief was back in the ranks, given their dominant performance.
Around the half-hour mark, SuperSport managed to shake off Chiefs’ vice-like grip on the match with strong runs down the left flanks but failed to make a breakthrough.
After 37 minutes, the corner count was 5-1 in Chiefs’ favour and that tells the story of the pressure they created on the opposition defence without capitalising.
Against the run of play, SuperSport went ahead 1-0 a minute before halftime when Bradley Grobler scored after a blunder by Chiefs goalie Itumeleng Khune. His poor clearance was picked up just outside his goalmouth and fed to Grobler who chipped the ball over the advancing Khune (1-0).
When second-half play started, SuperSport wasted no time in gaining the upper hand and eight minutes later they went ahead 2-0 after a fine run down the left flank by Grobler. Chiefs’ central defence was unable to cut off Grobler’s feed across the goalmouth and the strong-running Sipho Mbule cracked a rasping low drive past an unseen Khune for his side’s second goal (2-0).
A few minutes later there was another setback for Chiefs when referee Victor Hlungwani red-carded defender Philani Zulu for foul play.
The combined effect of conceding an early second-half goal and a red-card took the sting out of the Chiefs side and they rarely looked like a side who could muster the effort to stage a fightback.
Chiefs scored a consolation goal two minutes from the end when midfielder Manyama scored a penalty (2-1).