SuperSport United finally ended their winless streak in the Absa Premiership by defeating hosts Maritzburg United 1-0 at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Matsatsantsa had gone eight league matches without victory, but a late strike from Aubrey Modiba saw them pick up their first three-pointer since late November and move up one place into 11th on the log. The Team of Choice, meanwhile, suffered their first loss of 2018 and remain in seventh, missing out on the chance to move into the top three.
SuperSport started the stronger of the two teams and had several corner kicks early in the game. One such instance in the sixth minute almost saw Thabo Mnyamane score direct from the set piece, only for goalkeeper Richard Ofori to tip the ball over his own crossbar.
Maritzburg generally struggled to create scoring chances through the first half, though on 29 minutes they found some space in the final third when Deolin Mekoa controlled a cross from the right, cut inside and looked for a curler into the top corner, only to see the ball fly over the target.
Yet the best chance of the first half went the way of the visitors in the 45th minute, with a counter attack putting Aubrey Modiba in a great attacking position. However, the midfielder dragged a left-footed shot wide of the far post, when a simple pass across the box would have given striker Kingston Nkhatha a tap-in.
The Team of Choice created the first scoring chance of the second stanza when a counter attack gave Evans Rusike a sight of goal in the 60th minute, but his low shot was superbly blocked by back-tracking substitute Sipho Mbule.
On 73 minutes Modiba threatened again for the Tshwane team, cutting inside from the left of the penalty area before firing off a shot, but his effort went straight into the safe hands of Ofori.
But the Matsatsantsa midfielder wouldn’t be denied for a third time, finally breaking the deadlock in the 78th minute. A Thuso Phala cross was flicked on by Nkhatha and Modiba controlled the ball before stabbing a shot home to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
Maritzburg threw men forward in the dying minutes in an effort to get back into the game, but SuperSport’s resilient defence held firm to secure a much-needed victory.
Maritzburg United 0
SuperSport United (0) 1 (Modiba 78’)
Maritzburg: Ofori, Sanoka, Fransman, Xulu, Ndlovu, Maboe, Makaringe, Mekoa (Atouba 84’), Shandu (Fileccia 84’), Mokate (Matima 72’), Rusike
SuperSport: Pieterse, Kekana, Daniels, Gould, Boateng, Phala, Letsholonyane, Furman, Modiba, Mnyamane (Mbule 55’), Nkhatha (Egwuekwe 87’)