Not great play by SuperSport United – but at least they won
This is the kind of response Gordon Igesund was looking for from his players following their shock 4-1 defeat to Maritzburg United midweek.
Although not a convincing display by SuperSport United, what matters most is that they booked a place in the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout courtesy of their victory over Bidvest Wits.
Unfortunately for Gavin Hunt, his team has now gone two games without a victory, after they went down to Polokwane City midweek. But the coach would have been happy with the overall display, bar the result.
United could not have asked for a better welcome when they went ahead inside the opening two minutes through Dové Womé.
But getting off to a flying start, Igesund’s men failed to kill off the game and allowed the hosts back into the contest 10 minutes later, when Christopher Katongo drew level in the 12th minute.
It was not a pretty affair as the two teams huffed and puffed, and failed to unlock each other’s defence. But Cup games are never known for providing entertaining football.
While Dino Ndlovu kept Wits defence busy, using his bulky body to good effect, Henrico Botes did the same for the home side, winning almost all the aerial battles on the other end of the field.
The game came to life in the second half as both sides went searching for the winning goal that would take them to the last four.
Unfortunately, the visitors lost Ndlovu to injury, but this proved to be the turning point of the game as his replacement, Lebogang Manyama brought the best out of Moeneeb Josephs a few minutes after coming on, after a good counterattack initiated by Wome and Thuso Phala.
Manyama did not have to wait too long to register his name on the score sheet after beating an offside trap and putting the ball past Josephs in the 64th minutes.
Wits could have taken the lead earlier but Katongo failed to get his brace, denied by Ronwen Williams. Then United punished them immediately.
No matter how hard Hunt’s men tried to get back into the game, it was not to be.
The visitors hung on for a place in the last four.
BATTLE FOR THE BALL Supersport United’s David Mathebula and BidVest Wits’ Maliele Pule in action