Chippa, Leopards in stalemate
Absa Premiership newcomers Chippa United recorded their first point in the top flight by holding Black Leopards to a goalless draw at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Having jettisoned coach Manqoba Mngqithi and replaced him with former assistant Julius Dube, the Chilli Boys will feel that claiming a draw away to an in-form Lidoda Duvha is a result upon which they can begin to build.
As for Leopards, the result retains their unbeaten start to the season, but they will feel it is two points dropped after having created plenty of pressure and scoring opportunities in the second half, only to fail to capitalise on them.
One would have expected Leopards to dominate from the early stages on their own home turf, but while they may have enjoyed the greater share of ball possession, it was in fact Chippa who created the better chances in the first half.
Within the first ten minutes, Sibusiso Mnguni shot just over the target from a free kick before Mxolisi Ntshingila had a clear sight of goal but ballooned his effort over the crossbar, much to the relief of goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali.
Chilli Boys captain Gift Sithole also had a chance to put his team ahead within the first quarter hour, but he failed to direct his header on target after the hosts had failed to clear their lines from a Chippa set piece.
Mtshali was called upon to make a decent save just before the half-time break, tipping a dipping long-range effort from Diego Brown over the crossbar to leave the score locked at 0-0 heading into the interval.
Leopards started the second half strongly and midfielder Raymond Monama almost opened the scoring on 49 minutes with a free kick that had the beating of Chippa’s nervous-looking ‘keeper, Daouda Kassaly, but the ball rebounded off the upright.
On 69 minutes Rodney Ramagalela tried an acrobatic volley after being picked out by a good cross from the right flank, but he stubbed his effort straight into the ground and Kassaly was able to turn the ball away from goal for a corner kick.
Leopards continued to create chances right up to the dying minutes of the game, but they never did enough to really stretch Kassaly or the backline in front of him, leaving the match to end as a goalless stalemate.
Black Leopards 0
Chippa United 0
Leopards: Mtshali, Dzaga, Khoza, Nyirenda, Xakane, Maake (Obaje 62’), Mabunda, Monama, Madimba (Miya 80’), Ramagalela, Amidu (Gumede 55’)
Chippa: Kassaly, Kubheka, Mvalo, Sithole, Matomane, Ntshingila (Shumana 58’), Mnguni, Sali, Twala, Brown (Ngebo 71’), Qalanto (Idrissa 82’)