CAPE TOWN – Lowly Chippa United ended their 2019 campaign on a high note with a well-taken 1-0 win over SuperSport United in their PSL Absa Premiership match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, on Saturday evening.
The win against the third-placed SuperSport ensures that the Chippa will move up from 12th to 9th place on the latest standings ahead of the Christmas break.
SuperSport were allowed so much time on the ball in the opening 10 minutes and they made several runs into the opposition' penalty area but failed to set up scoring chances.
Chippa contributed to the early pressure spells they endured because of their shallow clearances in defence but they remained compact when danger lurked in front of goal.
During this passage of play, Chippa staged two break-outs with strong surges down the right flank but then tried to hit the target with speculative long-range shots which failed to trouble SuperSport's goalkeeper Ronwen Williams as the ball flew well wide of goals.
As the first half wore on, Chippa were allowed more possession and over the next 15 minutes, they created at least two excellent scoring chances, both of which were taken care of by Williams.
At the other end of the field, opportunities also surfaced for SuperSport, including a free-kick just outside the Chippa penalty area. The set-piece bounced off Chippa's central defence wall.
Williams spared SuperSport' blushes after his midfield lost possession and allowed Chippa to run in and have a free crack at goal. However, Williams managed to deflect the ball for a corner with an instinctive lunge and the ball ricocheted off his knee.
This was a hint of what was to pass a few minutes later when a one-two between Xolani Maholo and Meshack Maphangule undid SuperSport's defence on the fringe of their penalty area. Maholo's angled slide-rule shot, well wide of Williams, struck the upright before entering the goals for the opening score in the 43rd minute.
Chippa quite comfortably held on to retain their slender lead at halftime.
When second-half play resumed, Chippa made their intentions clear that they would not be sitting on their lead as they adopted an attacking approach. Their passing, especially in midfield, let them down and SuperSport were given a few chances to probe the opposition defence.
Some 15 minutes into the second half SuperSport upped the ante and Chippa's rearguard, with the help of inept marksmanship, kept their defensive lines intact.
Just past the hour mark, SuperSport swept upfield ever so often with a wave of attacks but they were denied by a combination of powderpuff shots and excellent anticipation by Chippa's keeper Veli Mothwa.
In the 74th minute, William Twala had a chance to secure an insurance goal for Chippa after he ran on to a deft defence-splitting pass. However, his scoring attempt was kept out by the upright.
In the final reckoning SuperSport would have been left wondering how a game, they dominated for long spells in the second half, could have slipped from their grasp.