SuperSport come from behind to share the spoils with AmaZulu
SuperSport United had to come from behind to earn a point at home after they were held to a 1-1 draw by AmaZulu FC at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday.
Striker Bradley Grobler scoring his 11th goal of the season from the penalty spot after AmaZulu substitute Mario Booysen clumsily fouled Thamsanqa Gabuza in the area in the 77th minute.
The visitors had gone into the lead after Siphelele Mthembu scored his first goal for the Durban club in the 34th minute.
That strike‚ which came courtesy of a delicious defence-splitting pass by Luvuyo Memela‚ looked to give Usuthu their first away victory this season before Booysen’s poor judgement altered the course of the match.
With this draw‚ their third in 12 matches‚ SuperSport remain two points behind Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows FC who are separated by goal difference on 26 points.
Usuthu deserved their lead and perhaps the full spoils as they completely dominated possession‚ especially in the first stanza in which former Orlando Pirates players‚ Memela‚ Augustine Mulenga and Xola Mlambo dictated terms in the middle of the park for Benni McCarthy’s team.
SuperSport came to this tie as big favourites having had a seven match unbeaten run that included five wins and two draws‚ but their lack of intensity and link play between their defence and attack contributed to Kaitano Tembo’s men going into the break trailing.
Tembo corrected the imbalance in his team when he brought on Jammie Webber for an ineffective Siyabonga Nhlapo and Waiswa Ndhondhi for Kudakwashe Mahachi at the restart‚ but Usuthu did well to keep the home side at bay until the lapse of concentration in the last 13 minutes of the game.
The absence of SuperSport’s influential midfielder Teboho Mokoena‚ who has suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for about four weeks‚ showed as Nhlapo struggled to be a proper replacement for the Bafana Bafana player.
With this draw‚ Usuthu remain in the wrong end of the table (10th spot) and the situation will surely put pressure on McCarthy to start delivering from their next away match against Baroka FC in Polokwane on Saturday.
SuperSport have a good chance to bounce back with a win and remain in touch with log leaders as they visit troubled bottom side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in Thohoyandou on Sunday.
Other DStv Premiership midweek results:
Tuesday January 19:
Kaizer Chiefs 3 - 0 Tshakuma FC
Mamelodi Sundowns 0 - 0 Bloemfontein Celtic
Wednesday January 20:
Stellenbosch FC 2 - 3 Baroka FC
Maritzburg United 0 - 3 TS Galaxy
Swallows FC 1 - 1 Chippa United
Black Leopards 0 - 2 Cape Town City
SuperSport United 1 - 1 AmaZulu
Orlando Pirates 0 - 0 Golden Arrows