SuperSport go third after drab end to first half of season

SuperSport have 23 points from 15 matches, seven less than leaders Bidvest Wits and four behind second-place Orlando Pirates, while Highlands climbed one place to eighth.

SuperSport United vs Highlands Park on 23 December 2018. Picture: SuperSport United/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - SuperSport United rose two places to third in the South African Premiership on Sunday after drawing 1-1 at mid-table Highlands Park in a poor finish to the first half of the season.

Perhaps the players' minds were on the Christmas and New Year holidays, but the fare was sub-standard for one of the top African leagues.

SuperSport have 23 points from 15 matches, seven less than leaders Bidvest Wits and four behind second-place Orlando Pirates, while Highlands climbed one place to eighth.

Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama was furious with his players, saying: "Many of them showed no grit and heart today. We lacked character, concentration and communication.

"Players cannot sit back at home and be satisfied with draws. They must always give it their best shot and seek maximum points. I am very disappointed with how we performed."

SuperSport coach and former Zimbabwe defender Kaitano Tembo was also unhappy, but for a different reason.

"We struggled to deal with crosses, one of which resulted in Highlands Park equalising. This is ridiculous as we have tall, strong defenders."

Aubrey Modiba fired SuperSport ahead in first-half stoppage-time and leading Premiership scorer Mothobi Mvala levelled with a close-range header two minutes into the second half.

The half-time break stretched to 45 minutes because of thunder and lightning at Makulong Stadium in the eastern outskirts of Johannesburg.