Chippa United bring Kaizer Chiefs back down to Earth after Sundowns win
JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs were brought down to earth by strugglers Chippa United who beat them 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday afternoon during a DStv Premiership tussle as they failed to build on from their winning momentum over the weekend.
After ending the 21-game unbeaten run of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday, Chiefs came into this match high on confidence. They dominated proceedings for the better part of the game, but Chippa ensured that they grabbed three points away from home.
A mix-up at the back, with five minutes before stoppage time, saw Eric Mathoho flick the ball towards his own goal. But that shot was intercepted by substitute Bienvenu Eva Nga who beat goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune with a high-flying lobbed effort.
Despite their turmoil outing in domestic football this season, Chiefs have had no troubles with hitting the top-gear from the outset in their matches. But so often, they’ve failed to make the most of their enormous ball possession and inroads into the opposition’s final third count.
But coach Gavin Hunt must have hoped that his charges would have something to show for their efforts from the outset at home. Instead, Chiefs who had been solely dictating terms for the first 30 minutes of the game were still deadlocked with Chippa here.
Hunt, though, must have been pleased to see his tactical switch, having replaced Reeve Frosler with Nkosingiphile Ngcobo working. The latter – a link between the midfield and attack kept the Chilli Boys’ defence on their toes – for the better part of the start of the game.
The 21-year-old’s ability to find pockets spaces during build-up looked good for the Glamour Boys going forward, except that their striking contingent lacked the final scoring touch in front of the goals of visiting goalkeeper Rashid Watenga.
Leonardo Castro, who kept his place up front, was earmarked to bulldoze his way between the Chippa’s defensive wall but it was Dumisani Zuma, the man who made an impact against Sundowns after replacing Khama Billiat, who created his team’s real chance of the game.
But Zuma, though, who’s been an impact player saw him cross in front of the face of goal parried away by Watenga. That was before his corner-kick was headed wide by Eric Mathoho who had also made a timed tackle against Augustine Kwem, soon thereafter.
Chiefs may have had a nervy end to the first half, saved from conceding by Khune who was making his 350th official appearance for the club, but they started the second half on a high note, looking for openings in Chippa’s final third.
In the end, though, Chiefs lost and remained eighth on the standings. Chippa, meanwhile, kept their chances of avoiding the drop alive, despite Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila sitting above them on the standings after beating Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the other game.