Cape Town – Chippa United lifted themselves from the bottom of the Premiership table with a 3-1 win over Black Leopards at Philippi Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was a first win in charge for new Chilli Boys coach Wilfred Mugeyi, who oversaw his side playing some neat and enterprising football, climbing two places to 14th in the standings, ahead of Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu on goal difference.
The opening half hour of the game was a cat-and-mouse affair as the two sides felt each other out, managing to mount a few forward forays, but battling to create any real threat in front of goal.
Masibusane Zongo looked lively for the Cape side, his energy and movement creating openings, and the former SuperSport United winger had the first chance of the game, but sent his shot over the bar from just outside the area.
Leopards had their first real attempt on 15 minutes when Joshua Obaje, the visiting side's main threat up front in the absence of Rodney Ramagalela, beat the offside trap but then sent his effort from a very tight angle just wide of the far post.
The game remained there for the taking, the action played at a blistering tempo despite the hot weather.
Zongo looked determined to make his mark on the game, but at times was over-ambitious with some shots from long range.
But 10 minutes before the break he underlined his talent as he cut in from the right flank, beat a defender, steadied himself and then bent a brilliant curling shot inside the far post.
Just seven minutes later and the advantage was doubled when, after Brent Carelse cleverly floated the ball into the box, Welcome Qalanto arrived with a well timed run and a clinical downward header.
After the break the home side continued to look for more goals and had the first opportunities of the stanza as both Zongo and then Twala had their long-range efforts palmed away by Lidoda Duvha keeper Azwindini Maphaha.
The Limpopo side made several personnel changes as they tried to get back into the game, which worked to great effect in the 69th minute as substitute Raymond Monama put Obaje clear into the box, the Nigerian squaring the ball for another sub, David Zulu, who had an easy tap in from a few metres out.
While Chippa substitute Petrus Ngebo had a couple of half chances to seal the win for the Cape side on the counter-attack, the last 15 minutes of the game saw the match for the most part swinging towards the visiting team.
They lacked the spark they needed, however, to open up a resolute Chilli Boys, who remained firm at the back.
With two minutes to go Ngebo's threat paid off when he stooped in with a diving header from close range, ensuring a comfortable final few minutes for the battling top-flight rookies. – Sapa