Cape Town City go down to Chippa United
CAPE TOWN – What's going wrong with Cape Town City?
A lot it seems after yet another lacklustre performance in the Absa Premiership, this time gifting basement dwellers Chippa United a 1-0 victory at Athlone Stadium yesterday.
The now 13th-placed Citizens will have to make do with only two wins in the league from 14 games, while the Chilli Boys after a first win over their rivals in the Mother City are out of the relegation zone and six places better off in 10th spot on the table after clinching a third win from four starts.
It was all City in the early stages, their slick passing game from the back and down both flanks stretching Chippa’s defence.
Shane Roberts at the top of coach Jan Olde Riekerink’s formation was presented with an opportunity to have a crack at goalkeeper Veli Mothwa but hesitated before pulling the trigger and was quickly closed down. With first-choice striker Kermit Erasmus still nursing a hamstring strain, Roberts and Riyaad Norodien were the two target men with wingers Bradley Ralani and Mark Mayambela in support roles.
Mayambela, who scored on his debut against Amazulu, was left out of the squad for the previous three games but was recalled to face his former club, and in the 17th minute got a shot away off his left boot that flew straight into the gloves of the keeper.
Five minutes later it was the visitors from Port Elizabeth who scored against the run of play after catching City’s last line flat-footed with a diagonal ball. It allowed striker Augustine Kwem to feed off a second pass to him inside the penalty area and on the turn he fired in a low left-footed shot that keeper Sage Stephens couldn’t keep out on the stretch to his left.
And he could well have had his brace had he not aimed a shot directly at Stephens.
City were now all over the place and looked lost at sea going forward. But for a rare sortie that saw central defender Taariq Fielies heading over the crossbar, little for the struggling outfit to crow about.
No surprise then when coming out for the second half to see a double change made by their Dutch coach. On came another pair of attackers with Chris David and Fakrie Lakay replacing Ralani and Norodien respectively. An act of desperation no doubt from Olde Riekerink who was seeking his first win in his third game at the helm.
Once again the home side’s fans witnessed neat passing in the built-ups and little else. Thabo Nodada and especially Mayambela did their best to grab the equalizer, but their attempts at goal were mostly from outside the 18-yard box. Chippa were more than happy to sit back and hand their opponents control the possession and territory stakes but were always at the ready to launch counter-attacks, which they did on a couple of occasions.
The onus was on City to turn up the heat and try as hard as they did to grab a share of the spoils , it wasn’t to be their day, once again.
The pressure mounts for Olde Riekerink who replaced fired Benni McCarthy a month ago.