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Chippa United (1) 1 (Welcome Qalanto 28)
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Wayne Arendse 68)
IF Chippa United get relegated at the end of the season by a small number of points, they will look back at their last two matches before the Christmas break as the chief reason.
The Chilli Boys could have left Athlone Stadium last night with a historic win over Mamelodi Sundowns after taking an unlikely first-half lead via the head of striker Welcome Qalanto.
But their customary lapse in concentration, much like in their draw against AmaZulu last Saturday, saw them concede a soft goal from a corner, when Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse rose above the Chippa defence unchallenged to head home in the second half.
The defenders didn’t jump, probably because the goalkeeper and captain Daouda Kassaly called for the ball. He missed it completely though, much like Chippa missed an opportunity last night to move away from the bottom two.
Although Chippa would be happier than Sundowns with the point, it’s criminal to make these sorts of mistakes when you are leading against one of the deadliest attacking teams in the country.
Coach Farouk Abrahams has always maintained that they will never be able to out-pass and outplay a team like Sundowns. They know their limitations, and work according to that. And last night was a prime example.
Not even a fortune-teller could see Chippa’s goal coming, because Sundowns were that dominant. But for all their dominance, they never really created any clear goal-scoring opportunities.
But Qalanto pounced on a free kick from left back Tshepo Tomanyane to hand Chippa a golden lead.
Sundowns were sparked by the introduction of Teko Modise in the second half, but still couldn’t quite manage a clear opening.
And of all the former Capetonians at Sundowns these days, nobody would have guessed it would be the former Santos man Arendse to score what ended up being the equaliser at his former stomping ground.
Meanwhile in Polokwane, Ajax Cape Town continued their miserable run in the Limpopo capital when they went down 2-1 to SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.