The goalless stalemate against Orlando Pirates was United’s first clean sheet of the season
Zebras captain Thatayaone Ditlhokwe’s club, Supersport United, is currently in the midst of an early relegation battle after a winless start to the season.
The club dropped points once again last weekend as they drew 0-0 against Soweto giants Orlando Pirates in a DSTV Premiership game.
The goalless stalemate was United’s first clean sheet of the season. The team could have grabbed all three points if Thamsanqa Gabuza had converted a clear cut chance with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Critical rearguard contribution
Ditlhokwe made an important contribution in the 47th minute when he reacted quickly to a rebounded shot and put his body on the line for the oncoming Vincent Pule who would otherwise have slotted the ball in.
The Zebras defender’s presence disrupted Pule as he saw his side footed effort fly over the bar. The Pretoria-based club’s form is worrying as they are currently situated on the 14th spot on the DSTV Premiership table where they are level on points with 15th placed Golden Arrows.
Ditlhokwe’s team is one of only four that are yet to record a win in the league so far this season, the others clubs being Marumo Gallants, Golden Arrows and Cape Town City. With two defeats and two draws after four rounds of league action, the club is in desperate need of maximum points in their next encounter.
Regular first team action
Ditlhokwe was assigned the left-sided centreback role in a back three defensive line-up for a fourth game in a row. The player has been consistently picked by Gavin Hunt alongside Luke Fleurs and Thulani Hlatshwayo but the members of Supersport’s backline are still getting to know each other. Once they gel, they could form a solid partnership as their clean sheet against Pirates suggests.
A chance to arrest the decline
Hunt’s charges will not dwell on their slow start to the 2022/2023 season for long as they have an immediate assignment on their hands today (Wednesday at 7.30pm) when they tackle Richards Bay. The table topping Richards Bay are the surprise package of the season so far – running unbeaten after their first three games of the season.