SuperSport United University of Pretoria Premiership
Posted: 28 August 2013 Time: 21:27
George Maluleka’s first-half strike guided SuperSport United back to the top of the Premiership table as they beat Tshwane rivals University of Pretoria 1-0 in a fiercely contested encounter on Wednesday night.
Former United defender Grant Kekana started in defence for the home side, which also included a start for Lantshene Phalane, who is on loan at Tuks from Platinum Stars.
Bafana Bafana centre-back Buhle Mkhwanazi failed to make the match-day squad.
Mame Niang started up front for Matsatsantsa at the Absa Tuks Stadium where he enjoyed reasonable success last season.
Bennett Chenene, who was seemingly ruled out of the fixture earlier this week, passed a late fitness test to make the match-day squad.
Mpho Maruping nearly gave the hosts the perfect start but the midfielder could only manage to trouble the crossbar with a powerful header from close range in the fourth minute.
SuperSport started to find their groove as the match wore on, finding gaps in the AmaTuks defence. Niang and Thuso Phala though were, however, guilty of poor first touches when they seemed to have a clear path to goal.
Maluleka opened the scoring in the 26th minute, driving the ball past Washington Arubi from a tight angle to give the away side the lead.
AmaTuks nearly found the equaliser through first Obadiah Tarumbwa and then Mpho Matsi on the half-hour mark. Tarumbwa forced a good save out of Ronwen Williams from close range before Matsi’s acrobatic effort from range narrowly missed the crossbar.
Tarumbwa then found the back of the net on the stroke of half-time with a superbly placed header. The goal was chalked off, however, as the referee adjudged the Zimbabwean to have fouled a Matsatsantsa player in the build-up to the goal.
Maluleka’s effort was the difference between the two sides at the break, and the second stanza produced limited chances, as both defences stood firm.
Second-half substitute Thabo Mosadi drew a fine stop out of Wlliams seconds after coming on in the 75th minute, but the Matsatsantsa number one did well to direct his powerful shot away from goal.
Tuks threw everything forward in search of the equaliser but came up short in their attempts. The loss leaves them lingering in the drop zone.