SuperSport United claimed their first-ever win against Royal AM after emerging 3-1 victors at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium on Tuesday evening.
After a goalless first-half, Gavin Hunt’s side took the lead through Thamsanqa Gabuza (59′) before Mfundo Thikazi hit back for Thwihli Thwahla 15 minutes from time.
However, Grant Margeman fired Matsatsantsa back in front on 81 minutes and Bradley Grobler added a third in stoppage time to take them up to third in the DStv Premiership standings, with Royal dropping down to sixth place.
Both teams were looking to get back to winning ways, with the Spartans having lost 2-1 to Kaizer Chiefs last time out, while Royal suffered a 1-0 defeat to Richards Bay.
After a quiet start in Pretoria, the match came to life on the quarter-hour mark when Grobler met a cross from Patrick Maswanganyi and was unfortunate to see his header come back off the crossbar.
The hosts threatened again five minutes later as a corner-kick found its way to Jamie Webber, who struck a powerful shot towards goal, but Patrick Nyame made a fine save to concede another corner.
SuperSport skipper Onismor Bhasera then went close on the half-hour mark with a diving header that went just wide of the left post from Grobler’s cross.
The KZN outfit managed to hold out until halftime and they finally created a chance four minutes after the restart when Kabelo Mahlasela lined up a shot from outside the box that sailed narrowly past the right post.
Their goal soon came under pressure again, however, as Maswanganyi forced Nyame into a save with an effort from inside the area on the left before Gabuza tested the visiting goalkeeper after connecting with Webber’s cross.
Matsatsantsa’s efforts would be rewarded moments later when Gabuza got on the end of Maswanganyi’s cross to steer a diving header past Nyame to break the deadlock.
Gabuza had his tail up and almost scored again on 66 minutes after combining with Grobler, but his shot from range flew just wide of the left post.
Thwihli Thwahla looked to respond, with Thikazi drawing a brilliant one-handed save out of Ricardo Goss in the 73rd minute and he had the beating of the keeper two minutes later as his shot from range found the bottom left corner of the net.
Parity lasted just six minutes though, as Margeman lashed a shot into the top left corner of the net from outside the area with Nyame well beaten.
After Goss pulled off another exquisite save to deny Thabo Matlaba from distance in the 88th minute, Grobler wrapped up the win when he pounced from close range to register his fourth goal of the season.
SuperSport United: (0) 3 (Gabuza 59′, Margeman 81′, Grobler 90+4′)
Royal AM: (0) 1 (Thikazi 75′)
SuperSport United: R. Goss, K. Johannes, T. Hlatshwayo, T. Ditlhokwe, O. Bhasera, S. Ndlovu, G. Margeman (J. Donn 90+2′), P. Maswanganyi (A. Ngoma 84′), J. Webber (G. Lungu 77′), T. Gabuza (I. Rayners 77′), B. Grobler.
Royal AM: P. Nyame, L. Manganyi, M. Rikhotso, P. Cele, S. Mogaila (L. Stoffels 78′), K. Mahlasela (S. Msomi 87′), L. Phalane (J. Dlamini 78′), T. Matlaba, E. Pelembe (M. Masuku 54′), R. Gamildien (M. Thikazi 54′), M. Macuphu.
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