GOALS in either half of the game proved too much for the Castle Lager SuperStars
team who fell 2-0 to the University of Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.
Neil Tovey's boys came into the game on the back of two successive defeats to Cape
clubs in Vasco da Gama and Ajax Cape Town, and they were hoping that their fortunes
would change for the better in Pretoria, but it was not to be.
Steve Barker opted to give his reserve squad a run out in the first half of the
encounter and they immediately impressed by putting the youngsters under immense
Irfaan Mohamed was put to the test early on and he managed to pull off a comfortable
save from a stinging shot.
Unfortunately, though, he was forced to pull the ball out of his own net just
minutes later when Bongani Zulu's shot proved too much for him. The midfielder took
aim from 15 yards out and managed to beat Mohamed at the near post, 1-0.
Mnotho Mkhize was at the front of an attacking charge in which he dribbled the ball
into the box, but his effort was comfortably gathered by the Tuks' goalkeeper.
The second half saw the introduction of the likes of Mame Niang and Aubrey Ngoma to
the PSL side set-up, while Tovey opted to take off Themba 'Messi' Ndlovu after he
was underachieving on the field.
Niang immediately threatened with a shot from 20-yards out which sailed over the bar
before missing a sitter with a headed effort which went round the post from just a
There was definitely reason to smile for the SuperStars team who managed to find
their way into the box more frequently than in previous games, but it was on the
other end of the field where the significant action took place.
Niang made no mistake this time when he capitalized on a defensive error in the box
to see him tap home a simple ball after being left unmarked in the danger zone, 2-0.
Tovey decided to play his wild card and threw 'Messi' back onto the field in hope of
creating some sort of magic, and that is exactly what he did.
With five minutes left to play the 19-year-old threatened at goal twice, first with
a curling effort which sailed just over the crossbar.
Then he showed why he had earned the nickname 'Messi' when the youngster managed to
shake off a couple markers to turn on the ball and fire a glancing ball cross the
face of goal, only for it to whisker past the post for a goal-kick.
SuperStars' late application of pressure was well acknowledged by the audience and
they were applauded for their noble display when the match came to an end.