CAF CUP FINAL
United still in it despite woeful Williams show
A horror goalkeeping performance by Ronwen Williams and some dreadful misses in front of goal cost SuperSport United dearly in their African Confederation Cup final first leg in Lubumbashi on Sunday.
But the South Africans will still be hopeful that they will be able to overturn a 2-1 deficit and go on to win a first continental title. They need to win 1-0 in Saturday’s return leg in Atteridgeville to take the trophy on the away goals rule.
The potentially vital away goal came from 19-year-old Sipho Mbule‚ making only his second start for the club.
He hit a stinging long range shot into the back of the net to announce his arrival on the big stage with much aplomb.
The 47th minute equaliser came after Mazembe had taken the lead through Adama Traore and before Daniel Adjei got a 67th minute winner.
A hot afternoon on a bouncy artificial surface was always going to be difficult for SuperSport but they were surprisingly dominant coming out of the blocks before feeling the heat.
In the closing stages‚ Mazembe were denied a clear penalty when Dean Furman brought down substitute Solomon Asante and the oversight by the Algerian referee, Mehdi Abid Charef, was a huge bonus for Eric Tinkler’s team. There was another legitimate-looking appeal right on the final whistle when Tefu Mashamaite handled the ball but it was not seen by the officials.
The game began brightly when Clayton Daniel had a free header at the back post from Thuso Phala’s 10th minute free kick that keeper Levy Matampi saved. and then Bradley Grobler should have scored from close range but somehow managed to squeeze his effort wide.
Matampi made a double save in the 14th minute to deny Dove Wome‚ after Grobler had teed him up‚ and then saved a rasping short from Siyabonga Nhlapo.
Mazembe’s first real effort came as Chico Ushindi hit the upright in the 18th minute and then a half volley from long range from Mali international Traore caught out Williams.
The Bafana Bafana back-up goalie looked to punch the ball rather than catch it and it slipped right through his hands.
It was a poor piece of goalkeeping, which then took some of the fizz out of the visitors.
Wome did have a chance to equalise with a good turn and shot that was just wide. Near the end of the first half SuperSport were piling on the pressure again to force several corners.
After the break Mbule’s wonder strike had SuperSport right back in it, but Mazembe upped the tempo as SuperSport wilted.
Mazembe’s second goal was simply done at a corner as Asante pulled it back for Adjei, whose shot caught Williams cold and it dipped under his body when he looked to have it covered.