Durban — Mxolisi Macuphu scored two goals as Royal AM came back from two goals down to rescue a point against Chippa United at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London on Saturday afternoon.
After a bright start by Thwihli Thwahla, The Chilli Boys grabbed the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute through a moment of genius.
Chippa played a short corner that caught the Royal AM defence unaware, after entering the penalty, Siphelele Luthuli drilled a low cross towards Veluyeke Zulu who tapped in from close range.
Four minutes later, they doubled their advantage through a horrible miscontrol by Thabo Matlaba.
Bienvenu Eva Nga raced away from the halfway line after pouncing on Matlaba’s bad first touch. He did well to hold off defenders and set up Luthuli who drilled home with just Nyame to beat and put Chippa 2-0 up.
Macuphu couldn’t believe his luck as an error by Chippa goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali presented him with an opportunity to tap into an open goal in the 30th minute.
Mtshali bundled what should’ve been an easy catch and left the ball dropping behind him. Macuphu, who was lurking was quickest to the ball and halved his side’s deficit to 2-1.
Royal AM’s number nine completed his brace and his side’s comeback late in the 90th minute.
Second half substitute, Mfundo Thikazi burst into the Chippa box and located Macuphu in the between a congested area, the former TS Galaxy man guided his shot on target and rescued a point for the visitors.
Relegation candidates Chippa made two changes ahead of this encounter as Maloisane Ramasimong and Thokozani Sekotlong came in for Aboubacar Sangare and the suspended Siphesihle Mkhize.
Royal AM coach , John Maduka named an unchanged lineup from the one that edged victory Sekhukhune last time out with Mxolisi Macuphu and Victor Letsoalo led the line for the visitors.
Tebogo Potshane spurned a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead in the opening 30 seconds of the match.
The left footed winger-cum-striker drove in from a wide position to combine well with Macuphu, after playing a neat one two to break through towards goal, the former Bloemfontein Celtic man flicked an effort with his outer foot and drove it wide of goal.
An entertaining first half with Royal AM controlling most of the possession but Chippa having the edge in the score line.
Both sides seemed to fatigue as they slowed down the game at every chance and opted against a counter press method that worked wonders for both sides in the first stanza.
Maduka rang the changes in the 62nd as he looked to inject fresh legs and purpose into his side’s play. Potshane and Kabelo Mahlasela made way for Menzi Masuku and Jabulani Ncobeni.
Chippa will have an opportunity to try and fight their way away from the relegation zone when they tackle Marumo Gallants next, while Royal AM travel to Pretoria for a clash with Supersport United.