JOHANNESBURG – Chippa United have moved out of the Absa Premiership’s relegation playoff berth with a 3-1 away win over Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.
The Chilli Boys came into the clash sitting in the red zone at the bottom of the league, and though they remain under threat heading into the final game of the season next weekend, Clinton Larsen's team now have their fate in their own hands.
Chippa came out of the blocks with serious attacking intent and claimed the lead as early as the 12th minute, with striker Rhulani Manzini putting an effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper George Chigova to reward the visitors' positivity.
Polokwane responded well to the early goal, with the likes of Jabulani Maluleke and Walter Musona growing in influence and giving the team greater momentum as the match wore on.
In the 27th minute, the hosts restored parity, with Ghanaian striker Mohamed Anas putting himself in the right place and at the right time to finish off an attacking move and make it 1-1.
Yet Chippa were clearly determined to claim all three points on offer and reclaimed the ascendancy in the 38th minute, with Zimbabwean defensive player Donashano Malamo finding the back of the net to be the unlikely hero who ensured the visitors led at the break.
And things got even better for the Eastern Cape side a quarter hour into the second half, with midfielder Tercious Malepe netting to make it 3-1 and give them some breathing room.
Polokwane looked to fight back and brought on the likes of Charlton Mashumba, Vuzumusi Mngomezulu and Monde Mpambaniso from the bench, but Chippa closed up shop at the back and were able to hold out for a deserved and critically important victory.
The teams will wrap up their league seasons next Saturday, May 11.
Polokwane will be away to Orlando Pirates in Soweto, while Chippa host Kaizer Chiefs in Port Elizabeth.
African News Agency (ANA)