SuperSport United put in a battling performance to defeat Free State Stars 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Goble Park on Saturday night.
Matsatsantsa struck early in the second half through James Keen and hung on for a win which takes them up one place on the log to sixth spot. Ea Lla Koto remain just inside the top eight bracket.
The first clear chance arrived for Stars in the 11th minute, with Harris Tchilimbou out-pacing Clayton Daniels to reach a great ball in behind the United defence, but the Congolese forward poked a shot just over the target.
Two minutes later Tchilimbou again got in behind the SuperSport defence, but instead of squaring for teammates he tried to beat Ronwen Williams from a tight angle and only succeeded in striking the big frame of the goalkeeper.
After Tchilimbou had spurned another great chance (missing the ball completely after a square pass across the goalmouth from Goodman Dlamini), it was SuperSport’s turn to threaten and Aubrey Modiba saw his powerful shot palmed away by Badra Ali Sangare in the 27th minute.
The United midfielder had another good chance on 31 minutes when he chested down a diagonal in the penalty area, but he sent his shot wide of the near post with only the goalkeeper to beat.
The score was goalless at the break, but just seven minutes into the second half Matsatsantsa claimed the lead. Evans Rusike delivered a fine cross from the right by-line and James Keene turned it home with a downward header to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
On the hour mark Ea Lla Koto were unlucky not to bring themselves level, with Eleazar Rodgers hitting the crossbar with a header after meeting a long diagonal ball from Sifiso Mbhele on the right flank.
Stars had used all three substitutes by the 65th minute, sending on Sibusiso Masina, Sinethemba Jantjie and Judas Moseamedi from the bench, while United looked to close up shop with the introduction of defender Morgan Gould with just over a quarter hour of regulation time remaining.
And the Tshwane succeeded in doing just that, restricting their hosts to mere half chances to ensure they picked up a first league win since late September.
Free State Stars 0
SuperSport United (0) 1 (Keene 52’)
Free State Stars: Sangare, Tema, Keita, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Mbhele, Gandze (Jantjie 62’), Maruping, Dlamini (Masina 57’), Tchilimbou, Rodgers (Moseamedi 65’)
SuperSport United: Williams, Nhlapo, Daniels, Khumalo, Boateng, Mahlatsi (Gould 74’), Mokoena, Ntshangase, Modiba, Rusike, Keene