Chiefs sal­vage point be­hind closed doors

Amakhosi not at their best in Chippa-dom­i­nated game

Sunday World - - Sport - By Marc Stry­dom

Kaizer Chiefs es­caped with a point from their sec­ond Absa Pre­mier­ship game be­hind closed doors at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium last night, but Chippa United could jus­ti­fi­ably feel hard done-by with a 0-0 score.

Chiefs were never rel­ish­ing this sec­ond game in KwaZu­luNatal be­hind closed doors – part of a rul­ing for last sea­son’s pitch in­va­sion by their fans fol­low­ing their 2-0 Ned­bank Cup semi­fi­nal de­feat against Free State Stars at Moses Mab­hida.

Amakhosi’s play­ers this week ad­mit­ted they were not look­ing for­ward to the game and they were not at their best. It was goal­keeper and cap­tain Itumeleng Khune, who of­ten kept his team in the game as Chippa cre­ated the greater pro­por­tion of chances. In front of the si­lence of an empty sta­dium, it was a 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 save an at­tempt by Thabo Rakhale.

Chippa had a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity when right-back Zita Macheke broke from deep in his half, then fed Kurt Len­tjies through to square for Ler­ato Manzini alone and with space in front of goal, who mis-hit a weak shot at Khune. Chiefs’ best chance of the half came two min­utes be­fore its end, Pule Ek­stein tee­ing up Ge­orge Maluleka on the edge of the box who struck pow­er­fully to force a save by Daniel Akpeyi.

Chippa grew in strength in the sec­ond half. They should have scored in the open­ing 10 min­utes, Chiefs de­fender Siyabonga Ngezana deny­ing the team twice. Gamil­dien in­ter­cepted in mid­field and played Rakhale down the left, Ngezana re­cov­er­ing for a last­ditch chal­lenge at the for­mer Or­lando Pi­rates mid­fielder’s feet. Gamil­dien was again provider of a clever through­pass, this time for Manzini, who squeezed a shot that forced Khune into a sharp stop.

Soon af­ter Chippa coach Eric Tin­kler re­placed Manzini with his big­ger name­sake, Rhu­lani Manzini. Stranger, though, was when he took off Gamil­dien for Mark Mayam­bela.

Leones Ve­gatar­i­anos (Equa­to­rial Guinea) v Sun­downs

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Free State Stars v Mukura Vic­tory Sports (Rwanda)

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/Gallo Im­ages/ Anesh De­biky

God­frey Walusimbi (Chiefs) and Kurt Len­tjies (Chippa United) at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

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