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Football | Absa Premiership

David Mathebula © Backpagepix

SuperSport United remain unbeaten



SuperSport United remain unbeaten in the Premier Soccer League after they came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with newly promoted Mpumalanga Black Aces at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Sunday afternoon.

Mabhuti Khenyeza opened the scoring for the home side on the stroke of halftime before David Mathebula earned Matsatsantsa a point 11 minutes from time.

Mark Mayambela and Dennis Masina failed to make the Mpumalanga Black Aces match day squad due to injury while there was a start for Abia Nale who lined up next to former Matsatsantsa striker Mabhuti Khenyeza.

For SuperSport United there was a start for Rowen Fernandez in goal, with youngster Ronwen Williams dropping to the bench. The start was the former Bafana Bafana shot stopper’s first league start in exactly a year.

Bradley Grobler remained up front while Sameehg Doutie took up a place on the bench as he returned from an injury lay-off.

Black Aces posed the early threat with Eduardo Ferreira just heading wide after Fernandez failed to gather the ball from a corner-kick in the eighth minute before Nale who made a great run into the area, outwitting Thabo September in the process failed to find a teammate inside the area with the Matsatsantsa defence struggling to track back.

As the half drew on SuperSport started to find their feet and went close in the 29th minute through Bradley Grobler. Grobler latched onto a low Thuso Phala cross but was brilliantly denied by Bafana Nhlapo from close range.

Nale then went close for Amazayoni on the half hour mark; the on-loan Kaizer Chiefs forward found himself through on goal but only managed to drag his resulting shot wide of goal when it looked easier to find the back of the net.

Just as it seemed as if the half would end goalless Khenyeza struck to give the home side the lead. The controversial forward reacted quickest inside the area, slotting the loose ball past Fernandez to give his side the lead at the break.

Matsatsantsa had to wait till the 64th minute to create their first attempt at goal in the second stanza.

Grobler did well to direct the ball into the path of Phala but the Bafana winger only managed to scuff his shot wide of Nhlapo’s left hand post.

David Mathebula leveled matters in the 79th minute of the encounter.

Second half-substitute Mame Niang yet again showed his effectiveness in the area as he cleverly flicked on a long throw which was ultimately nodded in by Mathebula.

Mathebula almost stole all three points for the visitors in stoppage time; his effort from just outside the area looked destined for the back of the net but only managed to rattle the upright.

The stalemate leaves Matsatsantsa at the summit of the PSL log while the draw moves Amazayoni up to 10th place.

SuperSport United: (0) 1 (Mathebula 79’)

Mpumalanga Black Aces: (1) 1 (Khenyeza 45+1’)

SuperSport United: Fernandez; Nkausu, September, Diouf, Mdledle, Gyimah, Mkhabela (Lentjies 63’), Phala, Mathebula, Chenene (Doutie 46’), Grobler (Niang 65’)

Mpumalanga Black Aces: Nhlapo; Mabaso, Ferreira, Mwanjale, Hendricks, Zuke, Zwane, Qalinge, Nato, Khenyeza, Nale (Tukane 74’)

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