Chippa unlucky not to score more than a point from Chiefs
● Kaizer Chiefs got a point from their second Absa Premiership game behind closed doors at Moses Mabhida Stadium last night, but Chippa United could feel hard done by.
Chiefs never relished this second and final game in KwaZulu-Natal behind closed doors — part of the punishment for last season’s pitch invasion by their fans after Amakhosi’s 2-0 Nedbank Cup semifinal defeat to Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida.
Their previous game in an empty Mabhida had ended in a 1-0 defeat against Polokwane City on October 6. Amakhosi’s players this week openly admitted they were not looking forward to another.
Even with the excuse of lacking their normally vocal support, though, this was not a night that Chiefs, or their coach, Giovanni Solinas, will look back on with fondness.
Any side worth its salt that has a hunger for trophies must be able to overcome any adverse conditions.
Amakhosi showed hardly any stomach for their odious task. Goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune often kept his team in the game as Eric Tinkler’s far more lively Chippa manufactured the most chances.
It was a predictably flat first half in which Chippa perhaps shaded play. The Chili Boys had the first half-chance as Khune had to come out of his area to take an attempt by Thabo Rakhale on his chest. Ruzaigh Gamildien chipped the loose ball at goal, where Mario Booysen cleared off the line.
Chippa had a better opportunity when right-back Zita Macheke broke from deep in his half then fed Kurt Lentjies to square for Lerato Manzini alone and with space in front of goal, who mishit a weak shot at Khune.
Chiefs’ best chance of the half came two minutes before its end. Pule Ekstein teed up George Maluleka on the edge of the box and he struck powerfully to force a save from Daniel Akpeyi.
Chippa grew in strength in the second half and should have opened the scoring in the opening 10 minutes when Chiefs defender Siyabonga Ngezana denied the Port Elizabeth team twice.
Gamildien intercepted in midfield and played to Rakhale down the left. Ngezana recovered for a last-ditch challenge at the former Orlando Pirates midfielder’s feet.
From the resultant corner big Burundian centreback Frederic Nsabiyumva got up to glance a header at the near post, this time Ngezana clearing off the goalline.
Influential Gamildien was again provider of a clever through-pass, this time for Manzini, who squeezed a shot that forced Khune into a sharp stop.