AmaZulu rise three places after beating SuperSport

AmaZulu rise three places after beating SuperSport
Siyabonga Nomvethe of AmaZulu challenged by Clayton Daniels of Supersport United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Supersport United and AmaZulu at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville South Africa on 31 January 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Jan 31, 2018. 21:28

AmaZulu have risen up to 11th place on the Absa Premiership log after handing SuperSport United a 1-0 defeat at Lucas Moripe Stadium o Wednesday evening.

Ovidy Karuru’s goal helped Usuthu jump three place on the standings and put a buffer between them and the relegation zone, as well as extending their unbeaten run in the league to four matches.

Matsatsantsa, meanwhile, drop to 14th on the log, just one point and one place above the red zone following a surprise win for second-from-bottom Ajax Cape Town over Orlando Pirates in a concurrent match.

SuperSport enjoyed the first clear opening of the match when they created a chance for new signing Evans Rusike in the 13th minute, but the striker was denied by a fine save from Siyabonga Mbatha in a one-on-one situation.

That was the only notable attacking highlight of the first half, with neither side really able to take the game by the scruff of the neck and create scoring chances to test the goalkeepers.

The slow pace of play and a struggle to find space in a congested midfield didn’t help either side, with AmaZulu’s only real sight of goal coming from Michael Morton, who had a wild long-range effort off target late in the first half.

If the first half lacked goal-mouth action, the opening 10 minutes of the second surely made up for it. First United’s Reneilwe Letsholonyane sent a shot just over the crossbar, before AmaZulu put Ovidy Karuru in on goal at the other end, only to be denied by a great save from Riyaad Pieterse inb the 49th minute.

Both sides then hit the woodwork - Dean Furman struck the base of the post for SuperSport, Mabhuti Khenyeza’s long-range shot rattled the crossbar for Usuthu - before Karuru made up for his earlier miss by shooting home right-footed in the 53rd minute to put the visitors 1-0 up.

The Durban side enjoyed further chances to extend their lead but failed to capitalise on them. On 69 minutes defender Sadat Ouro-Akoriko was denied by Pieterse, while in the 75th substitute Tapelo Nyongo hit the crossbar with an effort direct from a free kick.

SuperSport United 0
AmaZulu (0) 1 (Karuru 53’)

SuperSport: Pieterse, Kekana, Gould, Daniels, Boateng, Phala (Webber 76’), Furman, Letsholonyane, Modiba (Ngele 60’), Nkhatha (Mbule 80’), Rusike

AmaZulu: S. Mbatha, M. Gumede, Mabiliso, P. Gumede (Nyongo 37’), Ouro-Akoriko, S. Dlamini, Morton, Mnguni, Karuru, Nomvethe (Darpoh 61’), Khenyeza (Abraw 69’)

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