Chippa edge Chiefs in fierce battle


Kaizer Chiefs                                         0

Chippa United                                 (1) 1 (Mabaso 5’)

Kaizer Chiefs battled hard and they were somewhat unlucky to be on the losing side to Chippa United in an Absa Premiership match at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday evening. The home side scored the game’s sole goal in the fifth minute.

Hendrick ‘Pule’ Ekstein came back into the line-up, replacing Gustavo Páez in comparison with Amakhosi’s last league game against Free State Stars, which ended in a one-all draw.

The home side started like a house on fire and already put the ball past Itumeleng Khune after five minutes. Mark Mayambela’s cross from the right found Abel Mabaso, who finished from close range.

Chiefs tried to get back into the game, but they found it difficult to get good goalscoring opportunities in the first half.

Bernard Parker was making a lot of runs up-front and doing well to put pressure on the Chippa defence, while Joseph Molangoane also looked threatening when in possession of the ball.

The home side, on the other hand, got another good chance in the 25th minute, but Khune made an excellent save after a fine header from Sekola Moeketsi.

The Glamour Boys, however, never gave up and there was an opportunity for Ekstein in the 32nd minute, but his shot hit the up-right.

Chippa looked to have scored the second on the brink of half-time, but the referee had already blown for offside and the goal didn’t stand.

The second half started as the first half had finished, at a high pace, with both sides playing positive attacking soccer.

There was a lively atmosphere in the stadium.

Another chance came Ekstein’s way, but he hit the ball over the sidebar. That was the moment also that coach Steve Komphela decided to ring the changes, bringing on Páez for Ekstein.

Chiefs continued to fight hard, looking for the equaliser. Soon after coming on, Amakhosi’s Venezuelan substitute delivered a telling cross into the box, which found Joseph Molangoane, but he headed the ball wide.

The game continued to flow up and down.

Philani Zulu was again in fine form at the left-back position, making numerous telling runs up-front, while Siphiwe Tshabalala was also working hard and was usually involved in the most threatening attacks towards the goal of the home side.

Chiefs looked to have equalised in the 71st minute with Willard Katsande and Teenage Hadebe coming close after a well-taken free kick from George Maluleka. But the ball just didn’t want to end up in the back of the net.

The Glamour Boys had a much better second half, but there was a set-back when Parker hurt himself in the face in an aerial battle and had to be stretchered off.

The home side, meanwhile, nearly doubled their lead when substitute Katlego Mashego’s shot at goal was cleared off the line by Hadebe.

The closing stages were exciting with Chiefs going all out to get the equaliser. There was a chance for Páez, but his header was excellently blocked from going into the goal by the Chippa goalkeeper.

Amakhosi fought hard and got numerous chances, especially in the second half, but he ball just didn’t want to get into the back of the net.

Key moment in the match:

That must be the early goal Chippa United scored in the fifth minute. Mark Mayambela too easily went past the Chiefs defender and delivered a well-measured cross to his teammate, Abel Mabaso, who finished neatly. It was a set-back that Amakhosi were unable to recover from.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Itumeleng Khune was again in fine form between the posts. Bernard Parker did well up-front, while Philani Zulu often came forward at the right moment, creating danger for the opponent’s defence. However, it was Chippa’s defender James Okwuoso, who was selected as the Absa Premiership Man of the Match.

What it means:

Amakhosi are now in seventh spot on the Absa Premiership log, having collected 16 points from 13 matches. That’s only three points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khune; Hadebe, Cardoso, Ngezana; Molangoane, Katsande, Maluleka, Tshabalala (Jayiya 84’), Zulu; Ekstein (Páez 55’), Parker (Zuma 78’)

Subs not used: Khuzwayo, Mathoho, Malope, Meyiwa

Chippa United 11: Akpeyi; Macheke, Okwuosa, Konqobe, Maphanya; Mayambela (Mashego 75’), Mabaso, Mdinzo, Mako (Mbokoma 65’); Lentjies (Zuke 86’), Sekola

Subs not used: Mlhongo, Modisane, Masuku, Julies

Next Match:

Kaizer Chiefs next play Platinum Stars on the road at Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday, 9 December. Kick-off is at 18:00.

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