Physical Chippa Utd hold Sundowns goalless
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.
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