Phys­i­cal Chippa Utd hold Sun­downs goal­less

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - SPORT -

CHIPPA UNITED proved how dif­fi­cult they are to beat at home as Mamelodi Sun­downs were lucky to get away with a goal­less draw in a PSL match played at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Sun­downs, fresh off a 2-0 mid­week win over league cham­pi­ons Wits, found them­selves in­volved in a phys­i­cal duel with free-scor­ing Percy Tau (pic­tured) spend­ing much time on the ground after be­ing well marked by Chippa cen­tral de­fender Zithe Macheke.

Macheke’s fel­low de­fender Mpho Mve­lase could well have put the hosts ahead early on but fluffed his ef­fort wide of the Sun­downs goal.

Mve­lase has been a rel­e­ga­tion in the Chippa rear­guard since ar­riv­ing from Or­lando Pi­rates, just as Macheke looks to have taken his game to a new level after his loan spell with Thanda Royal Zulu.

Sun­downs’ Zim­bab­wean mid­field king­pin Khama Bil­liat also had a tough af­ter­noon, be­ing closely marked, and was not able to un­leash his usual high-qual­ity sup­ply to the front men.

Daniel Akpeyi, Chippa’s classy Nige­rian goal­keeper, took a few knocks in the game as Sun­downs pushed for the de­cid­ing goal, and even­tu­ally had to be re­placed, with for­mer Or­lando Pi­rates goal­min­der Brighton Mh­longo tak­ing over the gloves.

Chippa, who have now lost only one of their last nine league games (of which seven have been drawn), pro­gressed to 16 points from 12 out­ings and will host Kaizer Chiefs in their next league fix­ture on De­cem­ber 6.

Sun­downs, who now have 16 points from 9 games, will be in league ac­tion at home against log-lead­ers Baroka FC on De­cem­ber 5.

Mean­while Wits’ woe­ful start in to their PSL ti­tle de­fence con­tin­ued yes­ter­day when they shared the spoils against a strug­gling Mar­itzburg United side at Harry Gwala Sta­dium in Pietermaritzburg. The two sides played out to a bor­ing 0-0 stale­mate in very cold weather con­di­tions. Wits have al­ready lost six matches, have drawn on three oc­ca­sions and reg­is­tered only two vic­to­ries this sea­son.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt has re­fused to throw in the towel with re­gard to their ti­tle de­fence but it is go­ing to be a moun­tain to climb.

Yes­ter­day they lacked ag­gres­sion, ur­gency and cre­ativ­ity.

Wits’ next as­sign­ment is the Telkom Knock­out fi­nal against Bloem­fontein Celtic at Princess Ma­gogo Sta­dium in KwaMashu on Satur­day.

For other PSL matches and the Con­fed Cup fi­nal sec­ond leg, go to www.iol. co.za

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