Hard work, no result

11 May 2019

Kaizer Chiefs                            0

Chippa United                     (1) 1 (R. Manzini 9’)

Kaizer Chiefs were edged 1-0 by Chippa United in this season’s last Absa Premiership game on Saturday afternoon. The encounter took place at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The result means that Amakhosi narrowly missed the chance to finish in the top 8.

There were four changes made when compared to last weekend’s match against Free State Stars, with Daniel Akpeyi, Erick Mathoho, Teenage Hadebe and Reeve Frosler making the starting line-up.

It was an important clash for both sides, with Amakhosi eyeing a top 8 finish, while the Chilli Boys wanted to stave off relegation.

It was an open encounter with both sides looking to attack whenever an opportunity to do so arose.

The home side had an early set-back when Tebogo Makobela had to be replaced after an unfortunate clash with a Chiefs player during which he seemed to have broken his leg. The defender had to be stretchered off and was replaced by Frédéric Nsabiyumva in the ninth minute.

The Glamour Boys were somewhat unlucky when Khama Billiat beat the goalkeeper with a shot from a slightly wide angle in the 12th minute, before the ball bounced off the goalpost back into the field of play.

Chiefs continued to create chances to score and were the better side but couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net.

Instead of Amakhosi getting the opening goal, it was Chippa that scored the first goal against the run of play. Phetso Maphange crossed the ball from the left into the box with Rhulani Manzini slotting the ball home from close range.

A few minutes later, Leonardo Castro got a chance to equalise, but he couldn’t find the target.

Chippa nearly added a second goal soon thereafter, but goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi made a great save, keeping the ball out of the goal.

There was a double substitution at the start of the second half with George Maluleka and Lebogang Manyama coming on for Dax Andrianarimanana and Mathoho, respectively.

Coach Middendorp wanted to give the attack an extra impulse and that worked well with Chiefs looking more dangerous and determined to go for the goal than in the first half.

There were a few opportunities, but no goals. That’s when the German coach decided to make a further substitution, bringing on Dumsani Zuma for Hadebe.

There was a great shot from Billiat in the 65th minute from just outside the box, but the Chippa keeper managed to knock the ball over the crossbar.

From the following corner, Castro got high up, only to head the ball over the goal.

Billiat was involved in nearly all the dangerous attacks and the Zimbabwean striker looks back to his best ahead of next week’s Nedbank Cup final.

Both Manyama and Zuma delivered fine performances after coming on, bringing some extra energy to the attacking movements.

Chiefs probably deserved a penalty when Castro was brought down in the Chippa box, but it was not given by referee Victor Gomes.

Soon thereafter, there was a ferocious shot at goal from Zuma, but the goalkeeper made an excellent save, diving to his right.

Amakhosi continued to put pressure on the Chippa defence, but, in the end, couldn’t find the much-needed goal.

Key moment in the match:

There were quite a few key moments… in the sense of Kaizer Chiefs creating so many opportunities. It was a miracle that not at least one of all those chances found the back of the net. Amakhosi might have deserved a goal or three, but it wasn’t to be.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

Ramahlwe Mphahlele did well at right-back, often overlapping well. Khama Billiat has clearly regained his form from early in the season. Lebogang Manyama, meanwhile, looked threatening after coming on as a substitute in the second half. But it was Chippa United’s goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela who won the Absa Premiership Man of the Match after making numerous outstanding saves.

What it means:

It means that Kaizer Chiefs have finished the 2018/2019 Absa Premiership season just outside the top 8 in ninth position on the Absa Premiership log, with 39 points from 30 games.

 

Kaizer Chiefs 11: Akpeyi; Mphahlele, Moleko, Mathoho (Manyama 46’), Hadebe (Zuma 60’); Katsande, Andrianarimanana (Maluleka 46’), Frosler; Parker, Castro, Billiat

Subs not used: Bvuma, Molangoane, Mahlasela, Ngezana

Chippa United 11: Mzimela; Makobela (Nsabiyumva 9’), Shitolo, Macheke, Maphanga; Twala, Malama, Malepe, Lentjies; L. Manzini (Komane 53’), R. Manzini (Gamildien 84’)

Subs not used: Mothwa. Mayambela, Klate, Modisane

Next Match:

The Absa Premiership league season has ended, but Kaizer Chiefs will host TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup final at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, 18 May. Kick-off is at 19:00.