PORT ELIZABETH – Chippa United and Stellenbosch FC drew 0-0 in their opening match of the Premiership season played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday afternoon.
While Chippa dominated the game, Stellenbosch will be happy with the commitment and determination showed by a club making their debut at this level of the game.
Chippa swung into action early on and had top-flight newcomers Stellenbosch under pressure.
The Western Cape side, though, were organised defensively and they kept the Port Elizabeth team at bay.
Lerato Manzini and Kurt Leentjies were prominent for Chippa and gave the Cape Winelands club a major headache with their passing and movement.
Stellenbosch had to be content with threatening from set-pieces and, on one occasion, went close with a free-kick.
Chippa could also have scored from a free-kick situation, but Diamond Thopola’s shot was well taken care of by Stellenbosch new signing and goalkeeper, Dutchman Boy de Jong.
In the 38th minute, Chippa again went close, and again it was Leentjies providing the danger, but his effort sailed wide of the target.
After absorbing quite a lot of pressure, Stellenbosch started to settle down in the final 10 minutes of the first half, with another new man, Dillon Solomons, coming to the fore quite well.
Stellenbosch made a substitution at the start of the second half, with Mpho Matsi replacing Solomons, which was probably a clear indication that coach Steve Barker was already closing up and would be happy with a draw and a point.
Chippa, though, should have scored three minutes into the half, but Manzini missed with a headed attempt from right in front of goal.
Thopola had another opportunity to give the PE side the lead, but again he wasn’t able to score.
In the 68th minute, both teams made changes – for Stellenbosch, Waseem Isaacs came on for Afoakwa Dickson and, for Chippa, Xolani Mahola replaced Meshack Maphangule.
Chippa threw the kitchen sink at Stellenbosch in the closing stages, in search of a winning goal, but the Stellenbosch defence stood firm in the face of the onslaught.
African News Agency (ANA)