CHIPPA United came from behind to secure a fighting 1-1 draw against reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns in an exciting Absa Premiership clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night.
The result means the Chilli Boys are now unbeaten in five Premier League matches and have only lost once at home as they cemented their seventh place on the log.
The match started at a blistering pace with both teams playing attacking football in front of 11086 fans.
Chippa United struggled to handle the pace of Sundowns’ players as they were closed down in the midfield.
Sundowns striker Cuthbert Malajila scored the opening goal in the 30th minute with Chippa United’s midfielder Thamsanqa Sangweni equalising after 59 minutes.
But the combination of George Akpabio and David Zulu up front failed to ignite the Chilli Boys’ attack.
The return of Khama Billiat from injury proved fruitful for Sundowns as he forced Chippa goalkeeper Tsepo Motsoeneng to make some crucial saves.
Sangweni received a yellow after he dangerously challenged Teko Modise from behind.
Chippa continued to push forward just before the break, firing cross balls inside the opponents box, but Downs keeper Kennedy Mweene had no trouble with the high balls.
Chippa fought back gallantly in the opening minutes of the second half, and George Akpabio narrowly shot wide on 46 minutes.
The Chilli Boys received a free kick just outside the 18-yard area and a strong curve ball by Sangweni beat Mweene to level the score 1-1 on 59 minutes.
Downs continued to put the home side under pressure, gunning for a winning goal, but Chippa United withstood the onslaught.
- Kaizer Chiefs’ eight-match Premiership winning run was brought to an end as Moroka Swallows held the Amakhosi to a 1-1 draw in last night’s Soweto derby at the FNB Stadium.
A banner held by Chiefs players celebrated chairman Kaizer Motaung’s 70th birthday, but Lucky Baloyi seemed intent on ruining the party with a 28th-minute strike for Swallows.
The Amakhosi players were as much to blame as anyone for not racking up three points, as they were unusually wasteful in front of goal.
Chiefs had appeared less and less fluent coming into this game, if still clinical. Against a Swallows side reeling from coach Zeca Marques’s resignation but also spirited in embarking on a new era, the Amakhosi played in patches.
Swallows caretaker-coach Fani Madida made eight changes from the side that lost 3-2 to Mpumalanga Black Aces on Saturday. Having had just one training session, he was counting on the Soweto derby factor to lift his players.
If Amakhosi needed a sting to get them into the game, it was provided by Baloyi. Collecting a half-cleared ball metres outside Chiefs’ area, the midfielder smacked a drive past keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo.
It was the first time this season the Amakhosi had been behind. And Vuyisile Wana could have made it 2-0 moments later, slipping a shot wide across goal after being put through by Baloyi.
Chiefs struggled to create chances in the second half. But a side that has scored in every league game did finally find the back of the net.
A Siboniso Gaxa free-kick was knocked back in by Mandla Masango at the far post for Reneilwe Letsholonyane to strike at close range. – Mthetho Ndoni. Additional reporting by Marc Strydom