SuperSport a step closer to league title

SuperSport United took another step closer to winning their third consecutive Absa Premiership title when they dumped bottom club Jomo Cosmos 3-0 at Loftus on Saturday night.

The win keeps the pressure on the other title challengers. United are now on 44 points from 21 matches. Cosmos, on the other hand, are in deep trouble rooted to the bottom of the table with 14 points.
And with only nine matches to play they are going to have to find something special to avoid going straight back to the National First Division at the end of the season.

Cosmos held their own in a hard-fought, if dull and goalless, first 45 minutes, but it was all one-way traffic for United after the break as Cosmos wilted under the pressure.

Ezenkosi Coach Jomo Sono admitted before the match that playing three matches per week is taking its toll on the players.

The Premier Soccer League champions had their visitors under pressure during the first half but failed to make it count. Both teams looked tired and dished up a lethargic display in front of a handful of supporters.

Glen Salmon forced a save from Ezenkosi’s veteran captain, Avril Phali, after three minutes. Cosmos’ Ayo Oluwafemi caused a few problems for United down the right flank. But the Nigerian let himself down with some poor crosses.

Oluwafemi hit a weak shot at keeper Dennis Onyango in the 12th minute, while Phali had an easy job of saving another shot from Salmon in the 17th minute.

Oluwafemi was wide again from the right in the 21st minute. Cosmos defender Thapelo Tshilo did well to put his body on the line a minute later to block a powerfully struck shot from Anthony Laffor from close range.

Three minutes later, Salmon set up Daine Klate but the flying United winger shot over the crossbar in the 22nd minute.

Salmon did well to lose his marker, Ousmane Berthe, in the 28th minute but his shot sailed fractionally wide of the upright.

Salmon set up Klate in front of goal in the 33rd minute but Klate slipped when taking aim and the chance was lost.

The champions showed more urgency after the break and dominated the early exchanges. The home side were rewarded in the 51st minute when Morgan Gould thudded home a delightful corner from Klate, powering the ball past Phali to give United a 1-0 lead.

It was Gould’s sixth goal of the season and his third against his former club, Cosmos, this season. The Bafana Bafana defender scored twice in the 3-1 first-round win over Ezenkosi at the Rand Stadium earlier this season.

Another former Cosmos player trying to make an impression was Laffor, who shot wide of the target in the 56th minute.

SuperSport showed why they have won the Premiership twice in succession by the clinical way they went for the jugular against a side that dropped their heads after conceding a goal.

United made it 2-0 thanks to a well-taken strike from substitute Dario Monteiro in the 71st minute. The Mozambique international blasted home a Klate cross, giving Phali no chance.

But the icing on the cake came six minutes later when Brent Carelse made it 3-0 with a stunning 25m free-kick that flew into the corner of the net giving the overworked Phali no chance.

In other Absa Premiership games played on Saturday, Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs drew 1-1; Santos and Golden Arrows drew 1-1; Free State Stars beat Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-0; Wits University and Moroka Swallows drew 0-0; and Orlando Pirates beat Platinum Stars 1-0.—Sapa

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