Another deadlock game for Chippa

FORGING AHEAD: Chippa United’s Menzi Masuku during their Absa Premiership match against Polokwane City at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night

Chilli Boys fail to make it a double against 10-man Polokwane City

Chippa United failed to beat 10-man Polokwane City in a Premier Soccer League fixture and settled for a goalless draw at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night. The draw marked Chippa’s ninth deadlock in the league this season.

The team were hoping to double their winnings against the Rise and Shine, whom they beat 2-0 in a Nedbank Cup fixture this past weekend.

Despite their good run in the cup game, Chippa have not won a match in seven league fixtures.

That could give coach Dan Malesela sleepless nights. Chippa are 10th on the log with 24 points from 23 matches.

The Chilli Boys brought the game to the visitors in a high-tempo and physical first half, which saw City go down to 10 men.

Esau Kanyenda was given a red card after his second questionable offence in the 34th minute.

The Chilli Boys had more goalscoring opportunities than their opponents but they failed to put the ball inside the net.

Both teams went into the break empty-handed.

The second stanza kicked off slowly but Chippa turned up the heat in the 56th minute.

Malesela’s troops attacked hard as they were desperately looking for that opening goal.

In the 59th minute, Chippa had a chance to take the lead when Menzi Masuku’s corner kick landed on Justice Chabalala, who headed the ball over the crossbar.

Phetolo Sekome dribbled his way into the box and sent the ball to Masuku for a perfect finish, but his strike was saved by United goalkeeper George Chigova.

The visitors also had a few chances at goals but Chippa closed down every opportunity.

Meanwhile, a few wins can change everything, and Orlando Pirates’ first Absa Premiership victory in 12 matches, 2-0 against Maritzburg United at the Orlando Stadium last night, could well be the turning point that sees Bucs into the top eight.

Following on an impressive 3-1 Nedbank Cup last-16 victory against Free State Stars in Orkney, Ayanda Gcaba’s 13th-minute header and substitute Dove Wome’s 79th-minute finish gave Bucs a second win in a row.

Maritzburg were reduced to 10 men when they had centreback Brian Onyango sent off for a second bookable offence in the 61st minute.

Slowly, Bucs coach Kjell Jonevret’s gameplan with his current resources is taking shape, as the coach earned his first league win. There are so many creaking joints in this stuttering machine, though, that a little oiling will only go so far overnight.

But Pirates are looking more menacing than at any time since the start of the season, and the worst of their storm appears to have finally passed for the Buccaneer ship.

The utilisation of Issa Sarr and Abbubaker Mobara as a hard-working central midfield partnership who close spaces has been a clever early innovation from Jonevret, and they have brought stability and structure.

Other results: Bidvest Wits beat Golden Arrows 3-0, Baroka FC beat Free State Stars 2-1. – Additional reporting by Marc Strydom

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