SuperSport put in a great first half performance, with goals from Morgan Gould and Kermit Erasmus, to run out 2-1 winners against Bloemfontein Celtic in an Absa Premiership match at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Prince Hlela got a consolation goal for Celtic in the second half.
United looked like a team possessed in the opening minutes of the match and applied pressure on the Celtic goal from the word go. The home side’s commitment was evident with their tough tackling in the midfield and their chasing of the ball whenever they lost it.
SuperSport had the lion’s share of possession and kept Patrick Tignyemb, in the Celtic goal, extremely busy. United were able to control the flow of the game with their swift passing and domination of the midfield battle.
Tignyemb was tested in the second minute when Jose Parreira fired a 20-yard free-kick goalwards. The Celtic keeper, though, made a comfortable save.
Only eight minutes later Tignyemb was called into action again. This time it was Jabu Maluleke who tested him from long range, but again the goalie was up for the challenge and made a fine saving diving to his right.
Sadly, though, there was nothing Tignyemb could do to prevent his side from going behind in the 13th minute. Bradley Carnell whipped in an inviting free-kick and Morgan Gould rose highest to powerful head the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net, 1-0.
Thereafter, SuperSport continued to dominate proceedings as the Celtic players were unable to get hold of the ball for any sustained period of time.
Instead, whenever the visiting side were lucky enough to get hold of the ball they were resigned to shooting from long range but with very little effect. One such example was in the 16th minute when Bennett Chenene robbed the ball in the midfield and quickly fired a shot from about 30-yards out, but the ball sailed high over the bar.
The lapse in concentration by United was short lived and they were back to their attacking ways very quickly. Kermit Erasmus should really have doubled his side’s lead in the 30th minute when Carnell set him through on goal, but Erasmus skied his shot from 12-yards out.
That, however, was not the case in the final minute of the half when Erasmus doubled his side’s lead. Again some good work and a fine pass by Carnell saw Erasmus with some space inside the box. This time, though, the SuperSport player made no mistake with a clinical finish into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal, 2-0.
The second 45 minutes saw Celtic come out the change room a different side as they were the ones who had more of the ball in the second stanza. Still, they struggled to break down the resolute United defence, that was until the 62nd minute.
A swift counter attacking move by the Phunya Sele Sele saw Prince Hlela find some space inside the 18-yard box. The Celtic player did not waste his side’s rare opportunity and buried the ball into the top left hand corner of the net from 12-yards out, 2-1.
Celtic, though, were not able to complete their comeback as SuperSport held onto their lead and picked up the three points on the day.