Chippa un­lucky not to score more than a point from Chiefs

Sunday Times - - Stsport - By MARC STRY­DOM

● 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.

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