Usuthu stun struggling SuperSport
Posted: 31 January 2018 Time: 17:59
AmaZulu have done the league double over SuperSport United after a spirited second-half display led them to a 1-0 win.
United welcomed back Morgan Gould from suspension, while they handed a debut to Evans Rusike. As for Usuthu, they handed a first start of the year to Mabhuti Khenyeza.
Rusike was in the thick of things as he looked to give United an early lead but his dream of a debut goal was stopped by Siyabonga Mbatha who got down quickly to make a telling save after 12 minutes.
He was at it again later on after combining with countryman Kingston Nkhatha inside the box, but Mbatha was once again on hand to avert the danger.
Usuthu were looking dangerous with their slow build-ups, but more often than not they tried to catch the home side on the break with Michael Morton going close before half time with a shot from range.
They made Reyaad Pieterse work after the break when Ovidy Karuru beat the offside trap to go one-on-one with the former Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper with the latter coming up tops with a point-blank save.
At the other end, Dean Furman almost found his first goal of the campaign with a low-cut shot, but was denied by the inside of the post.
In similar fashion, Khenyeza gave SuperSport a scare with a curling shot from outside the box which came of the top of the post.
The KZN side broke the deadlock after Karuru capitalised on a rebounded effort from Pieterse to fire home from close range with Khenyeza again in the thick of things after 53 minutes.
This forced Eric Tinkler to make a change and he introduced Mogakolodi Ngele for Aubrey Modiba, while the battle between Mbatha and Rusike continued, with the former providing yet another close-range save.
Usuthu threatened to extend their lead through an unfamiliar character Sadat Ouro-Akoriko who forced Pieterse into an athletic save.
They struck the woodwork for the second time, this time from a free-kick which came following a reckless challenge by Clayton Daniels, though they were fortunate not to be made to pay as Tapelo Nyongo's strike left Pieterse stranded only to be denied by crossbar.
Cavin Johnson’s charges were all over Matsatsantsa, and Karuru almost found his brace but his effort in front of the goal-line was cleared to safety.
Substitute Sipho Mbule had the opportunity to draw the game level, but he failed to make the most of a free header, as their woeful campaign continues.
HOME: SuperSport United
Coach: Eric Tinkler
Coach: Cavin Johnson