SuperSport maintain Premiership dominance

SuperSport United showed their championship class when they all but ended Kaizer Chiefs Absa Premiership hopes by beating Amakhosi 2-0 at Loftus on Wednesday night.

Two goals in the space of three minutes earned the defending champions and log leaders their deserved win—and with Chiefs scalp under their belts United are going to take some stopping to prevent them notching a hat-trick of back-to-back Premiership titles.

United with 36 points are seven points ahead of second-placed Ajax Cape Town.

But there was more embarrassment for South African soccer when the floodlights went out in the 53rd minute. Loftus is one of the stadiums which will be used for World Cup matches during the June showpiece and this is the last thing that the 2010 Local Organising Committee needed six months before the finals.

Recently the floodlights failed at Orlando Stadium which will be used as a training ground for the World Cup.

But unlike the Orlando Stadium debacle which saw the MTN8 final between Ajax Cape Town and Golden Arrows delayed for 45 minutes, the Loftus delay lasted only eight minutes.

Once again the standard of referee in the Premier Soccer League came under the spotlight when referee Faiek Daniels disallowed what looked a good goal for United in the 29th minute.

This is the second successive match that Chiefs have benefited from suspect handling by a match official of a league fixture.

Chiefs were gifted a 1-0 win over Santos when referee Harry Lekitlane disallowed a good goal from the People’s Team late in their match played in Port Elizabeth last Friday night.

It was a tough uncompromising first half in which both sides lost a player to injury.

Chiefs suffered an early setback in the fifth minute when striker Knowledge Musona injured his knee in a challenge with United’s tough-as-teak defender Morgan Gould.

But inexplicably it took the Chiefs bench four minutes before bringing on Kaizer Motaung Junior to replace the Zimbabwean-born striker who was limping around at the side of the pitch and it was obvious he could not continue.

United’s former Chiefs midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi was injured in the 14th minute and eventually was replaced by Jabu Maluleke on 34 minutes.

Neither sided managed to get the upper hand during the first half but the Premiership champions did have the ball in the back of the net when Anthony Laffor headed home a Daine Klate corner in the 29th minute.

However, referee Faiek Daniels ordered the corner to be retaken much to United coach Gavin Hunt’s disgust. Television replays could offer no reason for the goal being disallowed.

United keeper Emile Baron denied his former club a breakthrough with a brave save from a point blank shot from Amakhosi striker Nkosinathi “Chippa” Nhleko in the 33rd minute.

Then in injury time Baron did well again when he saved Chiefs defender Thomas Sweswe free kick from outside the penalty area.

Baron pulled off a brilliant stop from a well hit Siphiwe Tshabalala 20 metre free kick in the 50th minute as the home side looked to get that vital opening goal.

Chiefs keep Arthur Bartman did well to stop a close-range shot from Thandani Ntshumayelo in the 59th minute while David Kannemeyer hit a powerful shot that flew past the Chiefs upright a minute later.

Baron again put his body on the line to prevent substitute Abia Nale scoring after 62 minutes.

The champions dug deep and scored the winner in the 67th minute when Glen Salmon managed to steer home a Maluleke cross with his hip.

SuperSport made it 2-0 in the 70th minute thanks to a bit of selfish play from Chiefs who refused to play the ball out when Klate was down injured inside his area.
Laffor collected a long clearance and laid off the ball to Maluleke who rammed it past Bartman with no Chiefs defenders in sight.

That ended the contest and the 20 000 odd Chiefs fans showed their displeasure by streaming out of the stadium with six minutes still remaining.

In other Premiership matches played on Wednesday, Mamelodi Sundowns beat Orlando Pirates 2-0, Ajax Cape Town and Free State Stars played to a 0-0 draw, AmaZulu beat Platinum Stars 2-1 while Maritzburg United and BidVest Wits drew 1-1. Santos managed a 1-1 draw with Bloemfontein Celtic, while Moroka Swallows were held to a 1-1 draw against Mpumalanga Black Aces.—Sapa

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