Chippa’s last-16 hopes shattered

[caption id="attachment_69762" align="alignright" width="300"] SHOCK RESULT: Chippa United's George Akpabio controls the ball during their Nedbank Cup last-32 match against Natal United at Wolfson Stadium at the weekend. Natal United won on penalties Picture: RICHARD HUGGARD -[/caption]

Chilli Boys booted out of Cup by Natal United’s penalties win

CHIPPA United head coach Ernst Middendorp’s hopes of putting his team through to the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup tournament for the first time were shattered when the Chilli Boys lost 4-2 on penalties to ABC Motsepe League side Natal United at Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele on Saturday.

Chippa had not won a match in their four previous attempts in the Nedbank Cup and they again failed to cross the line.

Middendorp expressed his disappointment in his team’s performance, and said they lacked the ability to put the ball in the net.

“We should have progressed to the next round, it’s a huge disappointment for us. We have seen our weakness, in terms of not converting our chances, but I am not complaining about the commitment of our players – we really tried.

“We kept our structure, the defence line was solid and we created many opportunities.”

He also complimented Natal for putting up a fight, and was quick to add that his team did not take the game lightly.

“Our players tried their best – we had a buildup, we were patient. It was not a kick and rush situation.

“We created many counter opportunities. For us not to put the ball inside the net, I don’t know how that happened.

“I cannot . . . say we didn’t prepare hard for this game.”

Chippa United went into the game oozing confidence. Their first attack came just five minutes into the game, when a ball kicked by Andile Mbenyane went over the cross bar.

But their confidence faded as the Natal side got the hang of things and started attacking.

During the first stanza it was the Natal boys who dominated in the game but their inexperience showed as they failed to hit the target in many instances.

After getting a wake-up call from the semi-professional side in the first half, Middendorp took Edward Manqele off and replaced him with George Akpabio.

Fans witnessed fireworks during the second half as both teams attempted to put the ball in the net, without success.

The game went to penalties and this exposed Chippa’s inability to score goals.

Their top players, William Twala and Andile Mbenyane, both missed their penalties.

By contrast, the Natal side sailed through the penalties, scoring in four attempts.

Chippa’s next league encounter is an away game against Ajax Cape Town on Friday.

Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns dominated from start to finish as they trumped Thanda Royal Zulu 2-0 in a Nedbank Cup fixture at Loftus Stadium in Tshwane on Saturday.

Alje Schut and Teko Modise found the back of the net in a deserved win for Pitso Mosimane’s troops.

Sundowns follow fellow Premiership heavyweights Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs into the round of 16.

-Sports Reporter

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