Santos beat leaders SuperSport
Posted: 20 December 2008 Time: 17:37
Santos have done their Cape Town rivals Ajax a huge favour by beating top-of-the-table SuperSport United 1-0 in the Absa Premiership at the Super Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Tyren Arendse scored the only goal of the game in the 64th minute with a neat finish, and in truth the visitors were full value for their win.
The match started at a slow pace with SuperSport having slightly the upper hand when it comes to ball possession. However, except a few corners, the Tshwane-based team did not create any chances early on.
The first real excitement came after 15 minutes when Santos winger Graham King was brought down by SuperSport's right-back Davis Nkausu just outside the box.
The People's Team's players desperately tried to convince referee Robert Smith that King was fouled in the box. But to no avail.
Former Mamelodi Sundowns player Arendse was positioned as an attacking midfielder behind the lone striker Jerome Ramathlakwane, giving some neat passes to his often deep running colleagues.
The 27-year-old also had a good shot at goal in the 25th minute, which flew just wide to the left side of the goal.
Anthony Laffor should have put SuperSport up from close range after getting a fine cross from the right by Nkausu. Otherwise, Santos got two good opportunities to score just before half-time when first Matsatsantsa keeper Denis Onyango had to put the ball over the crossbar from an excellent shot at goal by Bonginkosi Macala and, accordingly, Musa Otieno could have scored with a header from close range.
The tempo in the second half was slightly higher, even though it did not result in a more entertaining game. In the 60th minute the heads of Santos keeper Francis Chansa and SuperSport striker Glen Salmon collided when they both went for a high ball. Both players had to leave the field as a result.
Chansa was replaced by Lee Langeveldt, while George Maluleka came on for Salmon. At the same time, SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt also brought on the 17-year-old midfielder Philani Khwela for the disappointing Zambian Noah Chivuta.
Barely five minutes after the three substitutions, Santos scored the game's opening goal. On the right wing, King cleverly dribbled past David Kannemeyer and Shane Poggenpoel before giving a well weighted pass behind SuperSport's defence towards Arendse, who made an excellent deep. Accordingly, Arendse neatly went past keeper Onyango, before slotting the ball into the empty goal.
After the goal, Matsantsantsa awoke, creating a few chances, but Khwela and Fikru (twice) were unable to find the net. Coach Hunt, meanwhile, brought on another 17-year-old in Kamohelo Mokotjo, who replaced Poggenpoel.
The fielding of two 17-year-old youngsters came as a result of the injury plague at SuperSport, as seven players were missing due to suspension (Katlego Mashego) and injury, like Andre Arendse, Elias Pelembe and Dennis Masina.