PI­RATES WIN Chiefs drop points

CityPress - - Sport - – Back­page TXT

Kaizer Chiefs lost more ground in their bid to stage a mean­ing­ful chal­lenge in the Absa Premier­ship cham­pi­onship as Or­lando Pi­rates se­cured three points last night. Chiefs dropped two valu­able points when they were held to a 2-all draw by Su­perS­port United.

Pi­rates did not have the same prob­lem as goals from Tham­sanqa Gabuza and Thabo Mat­laba en­sured vic­tory over Chippa United 2-1 at Or­lando Sta­dium, and moved the Buc­ca­neers into the top eight-bracket.

Paseka Mako ear­lier scored his first goal of the sea­son to bring the Chilly Boys level.

The vis­i­tors were later re­duced to 10 men after cap­tain Tham­sanqa Sang­weni got his march­ing or­ders for a sec­ond book­able of­fence late in the game.

In Mbombela, two goals from Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala were not enough to hand Chiefs a much-needed win after United equalised on the stroke of full-time.

The draw means Steve Kom­phela’s men re­main fourth on the ta­ble with 46 points, and will now have to win their re­main­ing four matches to stand a chance of win­ning the league.

For the hosts, Mandla Masango net­ted in the first half and Aubrey Modiba made it 2-2 in the late stages of the con­test.

The first 10 min­utes saw both sides start­ing like a house on fire as they bat­tled for dom­i­nance in the heart of the park.

How­ever, United kept Amakhosi un­der pres­sure as they pushed to find an early goal, but Clay­ton Daniels was de­nied by Tsepo Masilela on the left pole fol­low­ing a free header in the box.

Kom­phela’s charges re­sponded swiftly and Bernard Parker saw his shot come off the up­right and bounce back to ac­tion in the 22nd minute, with goal­keeper Reyaad Pi­eterse beaten.

A minute later, Tsha­bal­ala beat Pi­eterse when he pro­duced a clever curl­ing chip into the roof of the net from the edge of the area to make it 1-0.

After 20 min­utes, Pi­eterse was called to ac­tion to pro­duce a fine save to deny Joseph Molan­goane from close range after a per­fect pass by Tsha­bal­ala from the right flank.

Two min­utes later, Masango net­ted against his for­mer team when he re­ceived a bril­liant pass through Reneilwe Let­sholonyane from the mid­field – his well­taken right-footed curler went straight into keeper Bruce Bvuma’s far cor­ner.

As the en­counter be­came a thriller to­wards the 35th minute, Tsha­bal­ala bagged his brace with a su­perb fin­ish in the box as the skip­per re­ceived a well-placed pass from right back Ramahlwe Mphahlele.

The high-paced af­fair ended 2-1 at the in­ter­val to Chiefs. Amakhosi con­tin­ued with the same en­ergy upon their re­turn from the tun­nel, yet there were no clear-cut chances un­til the 65th minute.

Sub­sti­tute Wil­liam Twala came close to bag­ging the third goal as he un­leashed a shot from a tight an­gle on the left flank, but saw his ef­fort hit­ting the side of the net.

As the en­counter ap­proached the last 12 min­utes, Molan­goane missed a glo­ri­ous op­por­tu­nity to make it 3-1 but saw his shot go wide from close range.

The last four min­utes al­lowed Thuso Phala to drib­ble past Chiefs’ de­fence into the box from a counter-at­tack, only to be de­nied by the on­rush­ing Bvuma for a cor­ner.

Sub­sti­tute Modiba made a huge ef­fect in the en­counter as he found a late equaliser in the box to beat Bvuma as the ball de­flected off his de­fender.

In the end, both sides shared the spoils and the draw means Kai­tano Tembo’s side oc­cupy the fifth spot with 41 points from 25 games in the league.

PHOTO: GAVIN BARKER / BACKPAGEPIX

ON IT Or­lando Pi­rates’ Them­binkosi Lorch shields the ball from Paseka Mako of Chippa United dur­ing their Absa Premier­ship match at Or­lando Sta­dium last night

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