Kaizer Chiefs’ woeful start to the DStv Premiership season continued unabated on Tuesday evening when they were beaten 2-1 by hosts SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Strikes from Bradley Grobler and Sipho Mbule saw Matsatsantsa to victory, while the Amakhosi ended the match with 10 men after the dismissal of Philani Zulu and Lebogang Manyama scored their consolation goal.
The result sees Chiefs down in 12th place on the log after winning just one of their seven league matches, while United are fourth – five points adrift of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns but with a game in hand.
Chiefs created early chances for Njabulo Blom and Lebogang Manyama, but the former saw his effort brilliantly blocked by Onismor Bhasera and the latter blazed over from a good shooting position in the penalty area on 11 minutes.
After early dominance for the Amakhosi, SuperSport grew in confidence and began to threaten after the midway point of the first half, with the movement of Kudakwashe Mahachi and the focal point provided by Bradley Grobler providing some problems for the visitors.
Matsatsantsa suffered an injury blow when defender Keenan Phillips took an unintentional elbow to the head from Khama Billiat and was replaced by Luke Fleurs 10 minutes before halftime.
The first stanza looked set to end goalless, but against the run of play SuperSport broke the deadlock in the 45th minute. A poor goal kick from Itumeleng Khune broke for Sipho Mbule, who teed up Grobler and the striker provided a well-executed chip over the ‘keeper to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Grobler and Mbule swapped roles for a second SuperSport goal, arriving eight minutes after the start of the second half. Grobler latched onto a long ball over the top, drove to the left by-line and pulled a teasing ball back into the box which allowed Mbule to strike home a low shot for 2-0.
Chiefs were inches away from pulling a goal back just after the hour mark, as youngster Nkosingiphile Ngcobo saw his effort direct from a free kick take a slight deflection off the wall before rattling the crossbar.
The Soweto giants were then reduced to 10 men in the 64th minute when Zulu was deservedly shown a straight red card for a nasty challenge in which he raked his studs down the back of Ghampani Lungu’s calf.
Chiefs were given the chance for a late consolation goal when Fleurs committed a clumsy foul on Dumisani Zuma in the 18-yard area, and Manyama buried the spot kick to reduce the deficit to 2-1 in the 89th minute. A tense period through to the final whistle followed, but United were able to hold out for victory.
SuperSport and Chiefs will return to DStv Premiership action for the final time in 2020 when they respectively face Baroka FC away and Bloemfontein Celtic at home, both on Saturday 19 December.
SuperSport United (1) 2 (Grobler 45’, Mbule 53’)Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Manyama 89’ pen)
SuperSport: Williams, Phillips (Fleurs 35’), Kekana, Ditlhokwe (Khumalo 60’), Bhasera, Mbule, Nhlapo, Webber, Lungu, Mahachi (Rusike 74’), Grobler
Chiefs: Khune, Ngezana, Cardoso, Mathoho, Zulu, Agay (Zuma 57’), Blom, Ngcobo (Kambole 83’), Manyama, Billiat, Castro (Ntiya-Ntiya 70’)©
SOURCED FROM THE PSL WEBSITE.