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EPRFU Stadium
17/12/2008 19:30

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt.

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SuperSport beat gutsy Bay United

Posted: 17 December 2008 Time: 23:21

SuperSport United showed what it means to be champions as they gutted out a 1-0 win against Bay United after going a man down in the first half at the EPRU stadium on Wednesday evening.

The win takes SuperSport to the top of the Absa Premiership.

The game started in an aggressive manner with tackles flying in, resulting in Letladi Madubanya of SuperSport being substituted in the 14th minute due to an injury; he was replaced by Shane Poggenpoel.

The injury of Madubanya was one of the smaller problems on the evening for Gavin Hunt's men that saw one of his players dismissed in the first half for a second bookable offence.

In a half that saw little goalmouth action the Tshwane giants were the far superior team controlling the pace and possession of the game. SuperSport were clearly on top in this tough tackling game winning numerous corner kicks and applying pressure on the Bay United goal.

However, despite all their control and possession they struggled to create any clear-cut chances on goal.

The first attempt on goal came from Rudi Isaacs, but it came out of pure frustration as he let fly from 30 yards. The shot was a poor one and it went woefully wide.

This shot on goal seemed to awaken Bay United as they began to come out of their shells a bit, getting their first shot at goal in the 30th minute. Gareth Ncaca fired a thunderbolt of a shot from just outside the box but the ball sailed just wide of the post.

Then in the 33rd minute SuperSport were reduced to ten men as Hlompo Kekana committed his second bookable offence. The referee did not hesitate to show him a second yellow and Kekana was forced to leave the field muttering under his breath.

Hunt made an almost instant change pulling of Isaacs and replacing him with Thabo September. Coach Khabo Zondo replied almost instantaneously, pulling off one of his midfielders in Siyabulela Songwiqi and replacing him with a more attack minded player in David Twala.

The half ended 0-0, but not before Katlego Mashego missed a great chance in front of goal seconds before the half-time whistle when his feeble shot from 12 yards out was comfortably held by Arthur Bartman.

SuperSport should have taken the lead immediately after the restart when Glen Salmon found the ball at his feet 12 yards out from goal, but he fired his shot high and wide, missing the target completely; the miscued shot was clearly a sign of some ring rustiness as Salmon has missed the last couple of games due to injury.

Substitute Twala tried to make his presence felt when he let fly with an ambitious effort from 30 yards out but his shot also went high and wide.

Six minutes later, against all odds, the ten-man SuperSport United side grabbed the lead through Masibusane Zongo. Salmon made a nice break down the right channel and slipped a beautiful pass to Zongo who finished clinically from just inside the 18-yard box, placing the ball perfectly in the bottom right hand corner, 1-0.

Umlilo seemed down-trodden and dejected after the goal. The only player who seemed to want to fight for a result was Gareth Ncaca, who fired from 30 yards out with a ferocious goalbound shot in the 70th minute, but SuperSport showed their dedication when Bongani Khumalo threw his body on the line to stop the shot.

Ncaca nearly pulled his side level in the 78th minute when another of his powerful shots from just outside the box struck the cross-bar and deflected away from danger.

The game filtered out with neither side creating anymore clear-cut chances in front of goal. SuperSport showed true championship style, grinding out a result after going a man down halfway through the first half, and they reaped the rewards as they moved to the top of the Absa Premiership table with the win.

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