Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United dropped valuable points in their bid to make a late Absa Premiership title push as they played to a 1-1 draw at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.
Mxolisi Macuphu and Khama Billiat found the back of the net for their respective clubs early in the first-half and despite efforts from both sides to bag all three points, they’d ultimately settle for a share of the spoils.
The result leaves SuperSport in fifth place on the log standings, four points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Amakhosi remain three points adrift of United in seventh.
Matsatsantsa hit the front as early as the second minute in the Mpumalanga province. Amakhosi goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma could only succeed in palming Aubrey Modiba’s powerful shot from an acute angle straight at Macuphu, who nodded home for his fourth goal in as many matches
Chiefs went in search if an immediate reply and almost found one six minutes later as a deflected effort fell to Castro, but the Colombian failed to convert with only Williams to beat. Replays, though, suggested the striker was in an offside position, but the assistant failed to raise his flag.
The Amakhosi duly pulled level in the 13th minute as Billiat ended his goal drought with a crisp strike that sailed into the roof of the net, leaving a static Williams with no chance. The goal was the Zimbabwean’s first in the league in 2019.
SuperSport came close to regaining their lead in the 27th minute as Bvuma parried Modiba’s shot into Bradely Grobler – and luckily for the goal minder – inches wide.
Williams was called into action once more at the other end of the pitch on the half hour mark. Willard Katsande pounced onto the loose ball inside the area after SuperSport failed to clear their lines, but the Bafana Bafana shot-stopper was alert to the danger once more.
Despite further chances at either end of the pitch, neither side could add to their scoreline as a fast paced first-half came to an end with the scored deadlocked at 1-1.
SuperSport came roaring out of the tunnel after the break and were first to conjure a chance as Evans Rusike forced Bvuma into a great save in the 66th minute. The Chiefs goalkeeper showing his credentials with a great stop to deny the United forward from close range.
Both teams created further chances to win the game in the closing stages, but it was not to be for either side as they ultimately settled for a point apiece.
SuperSport United (1) 1 (Macuphu 2′)
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Billiat 13′)
SuperSport United: Williams; Nhlapo (Khumalo 60′), Kekana, Daniels, Bhasera, Ntshangase, Mokoena (Webber 80′), Modiba, Evans (Lebese 85′), Macuphu, Grobler.
Kaizer Chiefs: Bvuma; Mphahlele, Moleko, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya (Hadebe 64′), Katsande, Maluleka, Ngcobo (Zulu 76′), Billiat, Parker, Castro (Moon 82′)