Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila bank R7m after Nedbank Cup win over Chippa United
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CAPE TOWN - Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) struck it rich by landing a whopping R7m in prize money after defeating Chippa United 1-0 in the Nedbank Cup final at the Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, on Saturday evening.
TTM’s lone goal proved to be the decider in the battle between two unfancied sides. TTM will be further rewarded with a place in the next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
When looking at the map of the "Road to the Final', TTM deserve to be champions. They defeated the star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns side. In the earlier rounds, they disposed of SuperSport United, Swallows FC and Black Leopards, all Premiership sides.
In stark contrast, Chippa faced one Premiership side in Cape Town City. Their other three opponents Free State Stars, Richards Bay FC and Pretoria Callies, were all drawn from lower-tier divisions.
Chippa will walk away with the runners-up cheque of R2.5m.
TTM showed their attacking intent straight after the kick-off with early sniping runs deep into Chippa territory. Their promising start failed to reap reward despite forcing three corners in the opening 16 minutes.
Chippa seemed unable to stem TTM's inspired wave of attacks, mainly down the flanks, but they absorbed the pressure spells and their defence remained intact.
Chippa relied on counter-attacks to keep their hopes alive, but they lost their way in the final third. On occasions, they were dispossessed on the fringes of the TTM goalmouth.
Midway through the half, Chippa briefly wrested the initiative from TTM but were unable to make good a few attacking sorties.
In the 27th minute, TTM turned the match on its head by taking the lead through a freak goal by attacking midfielder Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo, who latched on to a pass from Celimpilo Ngema.
Just when it looked like Ndlondlo would feed an unmarked teammate out wide, he opted to unleash a piledriver from 35 metres out. The rocket-like shot ricocheted off a Chippa player and flew past the unsighted goalkeeper, Ugandan Ismail Watenga.
Chippa had a gilt-edged chance to draw level when TTM's central defence were unable to cut off a goalmouth cross from the left flank. Defender Nyiko Mobbie had stalked into the firing line and latched on to the ball but fired his shot wide from point-blank range.
Soon afterwards, Chippa midfielder Thabiso Lebitso was left unmarked in the penalty area. TTM again sprung a leak in central defence, but he failed to capitalise after his shot flew wide.
Towards the end of the half, TTM regained their cohesion and moments before referee Eugene Mdluli blew for halftime, they forced a fifth corner. However, Watenga dealt with the threat by gathering the ball to avert further damage.
The play was fast and furious after the break, and 10 minutes into the second half, the teams each had two scoring chances, but poor marksmanship put paid to their efforts.
As the half wore on, Chippa enjoyed greater possession. However, they battled to unlock the TTM defence, which dealt with several promising sorties around the fringes of their goalmouth.