Chippa United brought some much needed feel-good factor to the Bay when they played out a goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns in their MTN8 semifinal first leg on Sunday.
Though the game was without goals, the match produced high quality soccer and there were several goalmouth incidents which kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Of course a goal or two would have been the cherry on top, but the 15 000-strong crowd had plenty to cheer about as the match swung from end to end.
Ever the optimist, Chippa coach Dan “Dance” Malesela was looking on the bright side at the end of the game, saying the goalless draw could work in his team’s favour going into the second leg.
Malesela said he was disappointed there were no goals in the game but that the eventual result was something his team could be proud of against a team of the calibre of the Brazilians.
The Chilli Boys travel to Pretoria to face Downs in the second leg of the competition at Loftus Versfeld on September 21.
Malesela embraced his opposite number, Pitso Mosimane, at the conclusion of a match in a show of goodwill which bodes well for the return leg in Pretoria.
It is worth remembering the Chippa squad is made up mostly of national first division players with a little pinch of experience. So their brave fight against the Premier Soccer League champions is praiseworthy.
Make no mistake Chippa will be up against it at Loftus, but this feisty Chilli Boys combination are unlikely to be daunted by the challenge.
They survived everything the Brazilians threw at them in the first leg and Malesela will now be planning a giantkilling act in Downs’ backyard.
There is a strong view that if Chippa get past Sundowns they will already have one hand on the trophy.
Most soccer pundits feel that a potential win over Sundowns would give them momentum to go all the way and lift the coveted trophy.
The winners of the showdown will face either Wits or Cape Town City in what should be an explosive final with a massive R8-million in prize-money on offer for the winners.