EAST LONDON – Chippa United caused a huge upset by defeating Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout Cup at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Sundowns striker Thokozani Sekotlong had the first chance on goal, but his effort was superbly saved by Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
The hosts were not to be outdone, though, and they followed up with an opportunity of their own seven minutes later – this time it was Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango to the rescue, saving an attempt from Lerato Manzini.
The Pretoria club then had a setback when Sekotlong was injured and had to be replaced by George Lebese in the 21st minute.
In an encounter with lots of energy and endeavour, Sundowns managed to create two more chances before the break.
In the first, good build-up work from Fahres Hachi and Percy Tau put Themba Zwane into space, but he failed to make the most of the opportunity.
For the second, Hachi found himself in space at the far post, but drilled his shot wide of goal.
Sundowns made the running early in the second half, with Motjeka Madisha powering a header wide and Hlompho Kekana steering an attempt wide.
Throughout, though, Chippa were never in any way outclassed as they always proved threatening when gaining possession of the ball.
In the 62nd minute, the Eastern Cape-based club made a change, bringing on Samuel Julies for Manzini.
And the substitution paid immediate dividends as Julies gave Chippa the lead a minute later, as the former Sundowns player fired in a great goal at the far post.
Sundowns had no choice but to go for broke in search of a goal to get back into the game.
Substitute Leonardo Castro headed into the side-netting, while Tau hoofed an effort over the bar
In the end, though, Chippa hung in there to register a fantastic win and qualify for the quarter-finals.
African News Agency (ANA)