Peter Shalulile helped Highlands Park get a win over Chippa United. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Highlands Park were comfortable 2-0 winners over struggling Chippa United in a league match at the Makhulong Stadium on Saturday night.

Owen Da Gama's side always looked in command, with goals from Spiwe Msimango and Tendai Ndoro in each half earning the win and sending them up to fourth spot on the standings.

Chippa came into the match on the back of a 1-0 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout competition, in what was newly-appointed head coach Norman Mapeza's first in charge.

But they were also on a run of eight league games without a win this season - which has now been extended to nine after a rather subdued showing in Tembisa.

Highlands Park had lost out to a late goal against Mamelodi Sundowns in midweek, but have otherwise generally been in winning form and it was the home team who were to dominate the opening half.

They took the lead in the 19th minute in rather bizarre fashion as Chippa goalkeeper Patrick Tingyemb, not helped by four defenders in close proximity, made a complete mess of what should have been a routine stop on Ndoro's miscued shot – which left Msimango to turn the ball over the line.

Despite their dominance, the Lions of the North didn't create too many clearcut chances – until the 42nd minute, that is, when Reneilwe Letsholonyane cut through the visitors’ defence and then played in Peter Shalulile for a tap in.

The hosts' joy, however, was short-lived as the goal was ruled offsides in what appeared to be the wrong decision by the match officials.

Chippa toiled hard to try and turn things around after the interval and they had the ball in the net on the hour mark through William Twala – but once more the off-side flag went up, and once more, the call from the officials did not look to be the correct one.

And instead of finding themselves back on level terms, things went from bad to worse for the bottom-of-the-table team as Ndoro outmuscled his marker in the 67th minute before beating Tingyemb with an expertly-crafted dipping volley.

Chippa could have put a bit of pressure on the hosts by pulling a goal back moments later when Twala floated in a pinpoint cross, but from just a few metres out, a stretching Augustine Kwem steered the ball the wrong side of the post.

Instead, the home team were able to see out the remaining 15 or 20 minutes of the game with very little threat to their lead and they nearly added a third when Sabelo Nyembe went in on gal in the 90th minute, but this time Tingyemb was on top of his game and made a good save. 

African News Agency (ANA)