Golden Arrows’ eight month wait for a league win came to an end on Wednesday night when they defeated SuperSport United 3-1 at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in a DStv Premiership match.
Abafana Bes’thende’s last victory was against AmaZulu in February 2020 and they racked up 10 winless league matches (nine at the back end of 2019-20 and their opening draw with Bloemfontein Celtic this past weekend) before finally breaking the drought thanks to goals from Trevor Mathiane, Velemseni Ndwandwe and Ntsako Makhubela.
As for Matsatsantsa, the result is a major downer ahead of their MTN8 semifinal, first leg clash against Bloemfontein Celtic this coming Sunday.
SuperSport enjoyed early dominance and forced Sifiso Mlungwana into a fine save in the fifth minute, with the Arrows goalkeeper clawing away a snap shot from Bradley Grobler which looked destined for the back of the net.
The hosts gradually found their rhythm in attack and by the half hour mark they were beginning to dominate the game, with United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams soon called on to make an excellent save in denying Ntsako Makhubela.
Yet the SuperSport ‘keeper was beaten in the 37th minute, as Arrows skipper Trevor Mathiane ghosted into space in the penalty area to meet a corner kick delivery and break the deadlock with a well placed header.
Matsatsantsa responded well to going behind and pushed for an equaliser before the interval, but some solid defending from Abafana Bes’thende saw them enjoying a 1-0 lead when the halftime whistle was blown.
Arrows created the first chance of the second half, with Michael Gumede working space to get away a shot in the 51st minute, but Williams made a fine block to keep his side just one goal down.
SuperSport looked to shuffle their attack with a change around the hour mark, as Iqraam Rayners rose off the bench to replace Jamie Webber, while Arrows brought on Zolani Nkombelo and Velemseni Ndwandwe just under 10 minutes later.
Ndwandwe made an almost immediate impact for Arrows, capitalising on space behind the United defence before sending a low shot past Williams to make it 2-0 in the 69th minute.
The Durban side appeared to be well in control, but they took their foot off the pedal and conceded in the 87th minute when United’s Teboho Mokoena scored with a deflected shot direct from a free kick, setting up a tense finale.
However, there was no late heroics for the visitors, with Abafana Bes’thende adding to their advantage in injury time when Ntsako Makhubela beat Williams from a sweeping counter attack to make it 3-1 and wrap up the three points.
The teams will return to action next Wednesday, November 4, with Arrows visiting Baroka FC and SuperSport hosting Stellenbosch FC.
Golden Arrows (1) 3 (Mathiane 37’, Ndwandwe 69’, Makhubela 90+2’)SuperSport United (0) 1 (Mokoena 87’)
Arrows: Mlungwana, S. Dube, Sibisi, Mathiane, Lunga (Nkombelo 68’), Makhubela, Shitolo, Parusnath, Mtshali (Ndwandwe 68’), Mmodi, M. Gumede
SuperSport: Williams, Phillips, Daniels, Khumalo, Mohomi, Webber (Rayners 59’), Mokoena, Lungu, Mahachi, Gabuza, Grobler