|TEAM LINE UP|
Bilankulu (Sangweni 44′)
Bengu (Vezi 78′)
Manqana (Mashego 69′)
GOLDEN ARROWS 1
0 SUPERSPORT UTD
Competition: Absa Premiership
Date: Sunday, 16 December 2009
Venue: Chatsworth Stadium
A disappointing SuperSport United, having lost just one Absa Premiership match this season, were on the receiving end of a shock 1-0 defeat by a gutsy Lamontville Golden Arrows at a warm, humid Chatsworth Stadium on Wednesday night.
Arrows defended desperately towards the end with Man of the Match, goalkeeper Thulasizwe Khuzwayo, in heroic mood.
It was United’s first defeat away from home and just their second of the season, and it took a well-taken penalty by Arrows’ Richard Henyekane on the cusp of half-time to do the necessary damage.
An uneventful first quarter finally came to life a little when SuperSport striker Anthony Laffor hit the match’s first real shot in anger, and in the 24th minute Siyabonga Pela’s effort from long-range was easily dealt with by United keeper Denis Onyango.
Laffor tried to break the deadlock with eight minutes to half-time when he reacted quickly to shoddy Arrows defensive work but his attempt was not on target.
There was no real flow to either side, but the rhythm improved when Daine Klate’s glancing header was well picked up by Khuzwayo in the Arrows goal.
The match exploded to life on the stroke of half-time when referee Faiek Daniels pointed to the penalty spot after he adjudged Morgan Gould’s heavy tackle on Arrows’ Siyabonga Pela worthy of the ultimate treatment.
Arrow’s top goal scorer Richard Henyekane side-footed coolly past Onyango, and the game was on.
Three minutes after half-time Laffor squandered a volley from close-range after being set up by the on-song Thabo September, although Mzivukile Tom and Henyekane gave Onyango headaches at the other end just five minutes later after team-mate Lindokhule Bengu had kept the keeper on his toes in the earlier play.
In the 62nd a Klate pile driver brought the best out of Khuzwayo and from the rebound United’s Glen Salmon should have made more from his header that sailed over the bar.
In the last 10 minutes it was all United as the Arrows defence was stretched to the limit and beyond, Khuzwayo putting together tip-top saves to keep out sub Thabo Mongalo and fellow replacement Tebogo Langerman.
In the 89th the Arrows boys were almost denied a famous victory when Salmon hit the post, but the incredible Khuzwayo was then on hand to produce a blinding save from a thoroughly frustrated Laffor to leave United coach Gavin Hunt reflecting on what might have been had his side turned up with their A-game at Chatsworth.
United went into the game with a harvest of 44 log points, a positive goal difference of 25 and top spot on the table, while eighth-placed Arrows had only won five matches this season, had a negative GD of three and were on 26 points.
Chasing a hat-trick of Absa Premiership titles, and coming off a 3-0 win over Jomo Cosmos at Loftus, United coach Gavin Hunt was on a high and the coach of the month for the last three would have expected nothing less than three points from this encounter.
Arrow, who drew 1-1 away to Santos at Coetzenburg in their last outing, have not been able to translate a share of the spoils into victory very often and their 11 draws – the second highest in the league – and only having won one match in the last five games meant they went into the clash as total underdogs.
Arrows are a useful side on the counter-attack and one couldn’t help feeling they would need all the help they could get from a pitch United coach Hunt described as not one of the best around, yet the Durban side have proved, with their sublime 6-0 demolition of Ajax Cape Town in the MTN8 final, that they can beat anyone.
However, one couldn’t help feeling that United’s direct style and strength at set-pieces would be too much for the Durban boys, but football is a funny game.
Arrows (1) 1 (Henyekane 45′ pen)
Arrows: (4-3-3) Khuzwayo; Musonda, Mvalo, Masinga, Tom; Pela, Bilankulu (Sangweni 44′), Khuboni; Bengu (Vezi 78′), R. Henyekane, Manqana (Mashego 69′)
United: (4-4-2) Onyango; September, Gould, Khumalo, Kannemeyer; Maluleke, Carelse (Mongalo 56′), Ntshumayelo (Kekana 11′), Klate (Langerman 75′); Laffor, Salmon.
|TEAM LINE UP|
Carelse (Mongalo 56′)
Ntshumayelo (Kekana 11′)
Klate (Langerman 75′)