SuperSport grab away goal in Liberia
Posted: 9 April 2017 Time: 17:40
SuperSport United continued their CAF Confederation Cup travels in Liberia, earning a hard-fought 1-1 away draw against Barrack Young Controllers in the third qualifying round at Antonitte Tubman Stadium.
Stuart Baxter’s charges started on the front foot, Thabo Mnyamane testing the opposition keeper from range with just five minutes on the clock.
Ronwen Williams, donning the gloves for United for the CAF fixture, was then called into action, producing a fine save to deny the hosts the early advantage.
And soon after SuperSport punished the hosts’ missed chance to take the lead, Thuso Phala drilling in a low cross which Fagrie Lakay tapped home from close range.
The young forward had a chance to double his tally minutes later, but was too eager in front of goal and blasted his effort over the bar.
The reigning Liberian champions were soon into their stride however, and after a number of opportunities, drew level 25 minutes into the half.
Ten minutes later and BYC had a glorious chance to take the lead after the visitors conceded a penalty, yet Williams was equal to the task, saving the spot-kick to keep matters level at 1-1.
Both sides looked lively in the latter stages of the opening stanza, yet neither could breach the defence once more as the two sides headed into the break level at 1-1.
SuperSport started the second half in the ascendency as Phala, Michael Morton and Aubrey Modiba tried their luck, yet the home defence was equal to the task.
Jeremy Brockie was brought in on the hour mark as Baxter looked for an outlet upfront, yet it was Modiba who would come closest next for Matsatsantsa, the midfielder’s shot on goal flying centimetres over the cross bar.
Meanwhile, Williams remained busy between the sticks at the other end, producing a number of fine saves to keep the lively hosts at bay, and stood firm in a one-on-one situation late in the game as the clock wound down to full-time.
A late Brockie effort was denied by the resilient home side defence as the match ended all square at 1-1, with SuperSport taking a crucial away goal to next week’s second leg encounter in Pretoria.
Elsewhere, fellow South African side Platinum Stars suffered a 2-0 loss to AS Tanda in their first-leg qualifier away in Ivory Coast.
SuperSport XI: Williams, Boxall, Gould, Mashamaite, Ritchie (Bhasera 60’), Mokoena, Morton, Modiba, Phala, Mnyamane (Kekana 91’), Lakay (Brockie 60’)