Chippa United's Thabo Rakhale celebrates goal with teammates during their league match against Kaizer Chiefs. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs 0

Chippa United (1)3

Rakhale 25, Macuphu 77, Manqele 90+6

The slim hope of winning the championship that Kaizer Chiefs entertained was diminished by Amakhosi themselves with a woeful display that’s not befitting of league contenders.

The Chilli Boys didn’t have to do much but just nudge Amakhosi into self-implosion, leading to a frustrated group of fans who threw missiles onto the field and chanted Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung’s name – telling him to come and answer for the mess they witnessed.

Chippa didn’t even go into third gear but they still did enough to complete a double over Amakhosi having beaten them 1-0 in the first round at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The Chilli Boys controlled this match with the good ball-players who made up their midfield.

Even though Chippa had most of the ball possession, they weren’t imposing in their attack which probably saved Amakhosi from an even more humiliating scoreline. 

The visitors hit Amakhosi with two sucker punches before Edward Manqele delivered the knockout blow in optional time. The Chilli Boys caught Chiefs napping to find the opener in a match that started on a low tempo. James Okwuosa started the counter with a clearance that went to Abel Mabaso who had acres of space in midfield. Mabaso surveyed the surroundings and then threaded a delightful ball to Thabo Rakhale who was in an awkward angle.

Mulomowandau Mathoho was slow to react, thinking Rakhale would move the ball to his stronger right foot, but the former Orlando Pirates midfielder went straight to goal and squeezed the ball with his left foot. It was uncharacteristic of Amakhosi to concede such a soft goal having come to this match with the joint-best defensive record in the league.

But then again there are a number of Chiefs’ characteristics that the club has shed over the last three years – the barren trophy cabinet attests to that.

Chiefs came here with a slim hope of challenging for the league having moved from fifth to third on Wednesday. But their energy didn’t look like that of a team chasing the championship. They didn’t take charge, allowing Chippa to get into the match and grow in confidence with each passing minute. 

The home crowd grew frustrated and a handful of them gestured towards Chiefs’ technical advisor Rob Hutting, who sat in the stands behind them, to go and tell coach Steve Komphela to make changes after a dreadful first half performance.

Komphela introduced Bernard Parker for Teenage Hadebe at the start of the second half to show the club’s intentions by bringing in a striker for a defender.

Even with that added fire power which included Dumisani Zuma towards the end Chiefs still didn’t test Daniel Akpeyi. Amakhosi finished this match with four strikers – Ryan Moon, Leonardo Castro, Zuma and Parker – yet they still didn’t find the back of the net which sums up their season. Their defence has been strong but the attackers have failed to complement them.

The Chilli Boys didn’t have such troubles upfront. Mxolisi Macuphu took the match beyond Chiefs’ control on the second attempt. Macuphu’s initial lob, after he was brilliantly setup by Linda Mntambo, was saved by Itumeleng Khune. But Khune’s hand was powerful enough as Macuphu rounded him before putting the ball in the back of the net.

This result sealed Chiefs’ fate in the league race as they now trail log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by seven points having played two more games than the Brazilians. If Sundowns win those two games, Chiefs will officially be out of the race. Even the hopelessly optimistic will give up now.  

IOL Sport

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