CAPE TOWN – Two-time winners SuperSport United welcomed newcomers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) with a baptism of fire in the PSL’s elite league as they ran out 3-2 winners in their MTN8 quarter-final clash in Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
It seemed the match was virtually over as a contest by the halftime break when SuperSport ran up a 3-1 lead. The score could easily have been doubled, considering the chances that SuperSport spurned in the opening stanza.
However, SuperSport fell away badly in the second half and TTM, who purchased Bidvest Wits’ franchise in the PSL, produced a strong finish to the match. With a bit of luck on their side, they may even have clinched a win in what was eventually a fascinating contest.
SuperSport, winners in 2019 and 2017, opened the scoring through striker Bradley Globler in the seventh minute. TTM’s defence was rudely surprised by the speed of SuperSport’s attacking sortie down the right channels.
Eight minutes later, it should have been 2-0 but SuperSport debutant Iqraam Rayners side-footed his scoring attempt high over the crossbar with the goals at his mercy after TTM’s defence failed to deal with a goalmouth cross.
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In the ensuing stages, TTM showed some fine touches, but they are a work progress. There was far too much individualism in their approach work. The primary objective of their coaches will be to have these players operating as a unit and with cohesion.
Rayners made amends for his earlier lapse with a classy strike in the 27th minute to double SuperSport’s lead. He unleashed a curling shot which had ‘goal’ written all over it from the time it left his boot from outside the opposition’s penalty area (2-0).
Zambian Ghampani Lungu scored goal No 3 after he latched on to a scoring pass from midfielder Jamie Webber (3-0).
A minute before halftime, TTM finally opened their scoring account through Botswana international Mokgakolodi Ngele who rifled a scorcher from well outside the box. The shot left SuperSport goalkeeper flatfooted on his goalline (3-1).
In the first six minutes of second-half play, SuperSport came close on two occasions as they sounded an early warning that more goals were imminent. As it turned out, it was a false alarm.
— SuperSport United FC (@SuperSportFC) October 17, 2020
However, much against the run of play TTM was next to score through a Ngele header from a corner. Ngele’s scoring effort flew off the upright into the SuperSport’s goals (3-2).
Suddenly the complexion of the game changed and for the first time in the match, the sides appeared evenly matched. Intermittently, a handful of scoring chances surfaced at both ends of the field.
In the end, SuperSport managed to hold on to their 3-2 lead and advance to the semi-final round.