PORT ELIZABETH – Chippa United lost their second successive match after Polokwane City snatched a late winner in a 1-0 league victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
An 86th minute penalty from Rodney Ramagalela brought to a halt a five-match winless run for Polokwane at the end of a match which could have gone either way, on a cold afternoon in Port Elizabeth.
Apart from a header from home striker Katlego Mashego which flew across goal in the eighth minute, both sides struggled to create openings in the early stages.
In an evenly balanced contest, Rise and Shine had a couple of opportunities midway through the stanza, but the scoreline remained unchanged as Salulani Phiri went close with a volley before Ramagalela's crisply-struck shot was pouched by Chippa keeper Brighton Mhlongo.
Phiri was inches away from putting the Limpopo side ahead in the 37th minute when his shot hit a defender before striking the post.
The hosts had a chance just before the half-time break when Sizwe Mdlinzo struck a shot from 25-yards out which also took a deflection, but Polokwane stopper George Chigova did superbly to make the save before snuffing out the threat of Mashego on the rebound.
The game remained on a knife-edge after the restart with both teams very much in the game, although as proceedings wore on, Chippa began to gain control and they could have been in ahead if Mahesgo had not lifted his head on the edge of the box and skied a shot over the bar on the hour mark.
But for all the Eastern Cape side's possession, they failed to test Chigova and Polokwane City were always in with a sniff.
And after a superb through ball from Jabu Maluleke played Ramagalela clean in on goal, a clumsy challenge from Chippa captain James Okwuosa resulted in a spot kick being awarded, which Ramagalela smashed in with ease four minutes from time.