Chippa focusing on survival, says Mapeza

CAUTIOUS APPROACH: Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza says the team is not eyeing top-eight status at this stage
CAUTIOUS APPROACH: Chippa United coach Norman Mapeza says the team is not eyeing top-eight status at this stage

Chippa United are now only two points away from top-eight status after clinching a vital three points with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Black Leopards in their Absa Premiership game at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday night.

With that in mind, one would have thought that coach Norman Mapeza would work towards entering the top half of the log, but the 47-year-old former Ajax Cape Town player does not seem to have warmed to that idea.

Chippa are now 10th on the log with 20 points from 17 matches.

“Our objective this season is to survive relegation. We are not going to put ourselves under pressure and say let’s go to the top eight,” Mapeza said.

A 94th-minute goal from Silas Maziya saw the Chilli Boys head back home with three points in the bag after spending two weeks in Limpopo Province.

The win also saw Chippa bounce back from their 2-0 defeat against Polokwane City in their first game of 2020.

But, most importantly, the success has taken Mapeza’s troops six points clear of the danger zone.

“I think it was good game of football. In the first half we did very well, we got that early goal and I think it settled our nerves,” the  Zimbabwean said.

“In the second half Leopards took control of the game. We had our moments but I think in football sometimes you need luck.

“I think we were lucky today and we managed to get that second goal in the last minute of the game.

“Credit must go to the boys. They have worked so hard. I am more than happy with the three points,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lidoda Duvha coach Cavin Johnson expressed concern about how his players performed on Wednesday night.

“There were two disappointing moments, one in the first 30 seconds of the game and the other in the last 30 seconds,” he said.

“I thought we were very poor as professionals. We talk about the first 15 minutes of the game and the last five minutes of full-time.

 “When you have people who make baby errors in the beginning of the game and they make the same errors at the end of the game then you ask yourself where are you? What are you thinking?

“Those are very sad thoughts for me and you can’t rectify those things because when you lose the game, you lose three points.”

The Chilli Boys will now host Martitzburg United at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Saturday (kickoff 8.15pm).