Neil Tovey’s boys came into the game on the back of two successive defeats to Cape clubs in Vasco da Gama and Ajax Cape Town, and they were hoping that their fortunes would change for the better in Pretoria, but it was not to be.
Steve Barker opted to give his reserve squad a run out in the first half of the encounter and they immediately impressed by putting the youngsters under immense pressure.
Irfaan Mohamed was put to the test early on and he managed to pull off a comfortable save from a stinging shot.
Unfortunately, he was forced to pull the ball out of his own net just minutes later when Bongani Zulu’s shot proved too much for him. The midfielder took aim from 15 yards out and managed to beat Mohamed at the near post.
Mnotho Mkhize was at the front of an attacking charge in which he dribbled the ball into the box, but his effort was comfortably gathered by the Tuks’ goalkeeper.
The second half saw the introduction of the likes of Mame Niang and Aubrey Ngoma to the PSL side set-up, while Tovey opted to take off Themba ‘Messi’ Ndlovu after he was underachieving on the field.
Niang immediately threatened with a shot from 20-yards out which sailed over the bar before missing a sitter with a headed effort which went round the post from just a yard out.
There was definitely reason to smile for the SuperStars team who managed to find their way into the box more frequently than in previous games, but it was on the other end of the field where the significant action took place.
Niang made no mistake this time when he capitalized on a defensive error in the box to see him tap home a simple ball after being left unmarked in the danger zone.
Tovey decided to play his wild card and threw ‘Messi’ back onto the field in hope of creating some sort of magic, and that is exactly what he did. With five minutes left to play the 19-year-old threatened at goal twice, first with a curling effort which sailed just over the crossbar.
Then he showed why he had earned the nickname ‘Messi’ when the youngster managed to shake off a couple markers to turn on the ball and fire a glancing ball cross the face of goal, only for it to whisker past the post for a goal-kick.
SuperStars’ late application of pressure was well acknowledged by the audience and they were applauded for their noble display when the match came to an end.