Category : Football | Posted on 2020-10-17 By : Rob Delport Image : @OfficialPSL
The 2020/2021 South African football season kicked off this afternoon as SuperSport United booked themselves a place in the MTN8 semi-finals, with a 3-2 win over newcomers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
It took Bradley Grobler just nine minutes to open the scoring for the defending champions.
Chance after chance fell to SuperSport, but it took 20 minutes for another goal to be scored, when Iqraam Rayners finished well for a debut goal, making up for earlier missing a sitter.
Three minutes later the dangerous-looking Gamphani Lungu added the third as it looked like SuperSport would run riot.
But just before halftime a wonderful individual effort from long range by Botswana international Mogokolodi Ngele pulled one back for TTM.
Ngele showed his quality again ten minutes into the second half, when he headed in TTM’s second goal to close the gap to one goal.
That sparked some life into the rookies, who began to push forward relentlessly, in search of the equaliser.
With SuperSport seemingly taking their foot off the pedal, TTM almost equalised with twenty minutes to go through Justin Shonga, but Ronwen Williams made a terrific save to deny him.
Lerato Lamola came close in stoppage time but in the end, their effort was all in vain, as Supersport were able to hold out and claim the win.
No surprises that there was a bit of controversy even before the kick off. While TTM did manage to get 11 players on the field, their late registrations meant they only had 3 substitutes on the bench.
This could have been avoided had their planning been more professional from the start, players should’ve been signed and registered long before this past week.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the PSL fine the club, for bringing the league into disrepute. And if there isn’t a rule to protect against a situation like this, perhaps there should be, even if it is as simple as an early registration, where a team has to register 18-20 players a week or two before their first game.
The talking points on social media today should have been positive and about the season kicking off, instead it was a substitute bench that dominated the early chatter.
Both teams will now switch their focus to the DSTV Premiership, as the league action gets underway next week. SuperSport will host Black Leopards on Saturday, while TTM host another new top flight franchise in TS Galaxy.
TTM: Mhlongo, Nonyane, Nkili, Theron, Lukhubeni, Maphangule, Timm, Ngele (Manaka ’78), Ngema, Shonga, Lamola
SuperSport Utd: Williams, Bhasera, Daniels, Khumalo, Kekana (Phillips ’46), Mokoena, Webber, Lungu, Grobler, Gabuza (Mohomi ’46) Rayners
SSU 3 (‘9 Grobler, ’29 Rayners, ’33 Lungu)
TTM 2 (’44 Ngele, ’56 Ngele)