Chiefs salvage point behind closed doors
Amakhosi not at their best in Chippa-dominated game
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.
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Godfrey Walusimbi (Chiefs) and Kurt Lentjies (Chippa United) at Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday.