Royal AM continued their exceptional DStv Premiership campaign with a dramatic 2-1 home win over SuperSport United at the Chatsworth Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Thwihli Thwahla trailed for almost an hour of the game, but were finally able to make their pressure against a 10-man Matsatsantsa pay with two quick goals right at the death. The result sees the top-flight newcomers rise to third place and push United down to fourth.
SuperSport looked the more fluid and attack-minded team in the early stages and they created an opening for Iqraam Rayners on the left of the penalty area in the 16th minute, but he was denied by a brilliant block from veteran defender Samuel Manganyi.
Ten minutes later Royal goalkeeper Hugo Nyame made an excellent save, tipping over Jamie Webber’s deflected effort direct from a free kick which looked destined for the back of the net.
United deservedly claimed the lead on the half-hour mark, with a corner kick seeing Luke Fleurs have his goal-bound header cleared off the line, but Thamsanqa Gabuza was on hand to fire home the rebound and make it 1-0 in favour of the visitors.
It was almost 2-0 just a couple of minutes later, with another corner kick routine seeing Guily Manziba stab a shot goal-wards from close range, only for Nyame to make an outstanding save.
SuperSport continued to threaten – especially from set pieces – for the remainder of the first half, but the interval arrived with their lead static at 1-0.
United seemed to be in control of the game through the initial stages of the second stanza, but on 59 minutes they were dealt a major blow when defender Luke Fleurs picked up a second yellow card and was sent for an early shower.
Royal, with a numerical advantage, claimed the initiative and looked to pressure Matsatsantsa’s re-jigged defence – which saw Siyabonga Nhlapo parachuted in off the bench – but genuine chances with which to test goalkeeper Ronwen Williams were few and far between until the very end of the game.
Thwihli Thwahla first levelled up in the final minute of regulation time when Zukile Mkhize was able to head from close range for 1-1, with a massive spell of pressure – which included Victor Letsoalo hitting the woodwork with an overhead kick a while earlier – finally paying dividends.
And a dramatic victory was secured in the second minute of injury time when an attack ended with substitute Menzi Masuku bursting through the defence before sliding a low shot past Williams for a 2-1 final score.
The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action this weekend, with SuperSport hosting TS Galaxy on Friday 5 November and Royal welcoming Baroka FC on Sunday 7 November.
Royal AM (0) 2 (Mkhize 90’, Masuku 90+2’)
SuperSport United (1) 1 (Gabuza 30’)
Royal: Nyame, Mahashe, Rikhotso (Lingwati 33’), Manganyi, Mkhize, Mahlasela, Mashikinya (Mabena 74’), Phalane (Thikazi 60’), Mashiane (George 60’), Potsane (Masuku 74’), Letsoalo
SuperSport: Williams, Phillips, Fleurs, Mkhwanazi, Bhasera, Manziba (Nhlapo 63’), Donn (Rasebotja 78’), Webber, Rayners, Lungu (Grobler 63’), Gabuza