After a great start to the season, Cape Town City slumped to their third successive defeat in the space of week when going down 2-1 to Chippa United at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London on Sunday afternoon.
Last Saturday City lost in the MTN8 final and on Tuesday, they were beaten 1-0 by Bloemfontein Celtic.
On Sunday – despite taking a 1-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes against Chippa – they somehow let the game slip and lost yet again.
But all credit to Chippa, who never let their heads drop after City took the lead. They fought back superbly and certainly deserved the victory.
For City, the problem was that they failed to build on their dominant opening 20 minutes.
Once they had taken the lead, it was as if they believed the game was over. They dropped deep, allowing Chippa to get back into the game, and they paid the ultimate price.
City initially got into their stride by pressing Chippa high up the field, not allowing the Eastern Cape side to play their normal, flowing passing game.
With no space to think or move, Chippa couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm, while City made sure that they took advantage when they gained possession of the ball.
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On one such occasion, captain Robyn Johannes made inroads from the back and sent a through-ball to Ebrahim Seedat down the left flank, and when the cross came in, Craig Martin was there with a header.
Unfortunately for Martin and City, Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was equal to the task, making the save rather comfortably.
With City in the ascendancy early on, it was no surprise when they took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute through a fantastic strike from Lyle Lakay.
Lehlohonolo Majoro supplied the cross, and Lakay provided the top-class volley that screamed into the net.
Chippa responded to the setback by upping their game as City suddenly went flat.
The Eastern Cape team broke free from their shackles of caution and started to pressure the Capetonians.
Mark Mayambela and Lerato Manzini had opportunities to level the score, but both hoofed their attempts wide of the target.
But Chippa then dominated the second period, with Abel Mabaso equalising with a fantastic angled shot in the 50th minute, and veteran 35-year-old substitute Katlego Mashego tapping in the winning goal in the 72nd minute.