Chippa top table, Thanda eliminated
Chippa United kept their hopes of promotion alive by trumping Thanda Royal Zulu 3-0 at the Richards Bay Stadium, leaving them needing a win or a draw against Santos to secure Absa Premiership status.
Chippa were in need of a win in order to keep their promotions alive, as anything less than maximum points against Thanda would see the Cape club out of the running for a PSL status.
The visitors responded to their scenario with the most positive of attitudes when they struck just seven minutes into the game. Andile Mbenyane was left unmarked in the box allowing him to calmly slot the ball into the back of the net.
Nkosinathi Ogle was brought down on the edge of his area 18 minutes in, but the set-piece was well defended before the final shot, which was worked back into the box, went disappointingly high over the goalposts by Peter Nwadike.
Thanda continued to poke at Chippa’s door but they once again failed to convert their chance when their 27th minute volley by Nwadike went the wrong side of the upright.
It wasn’t going the way of Neil Tovey’s men when Ogle, who had just the ‘keeper to beat, opted for power and fired his shot right over the frame over goal, in the 35th minute.
The second half started with an electric atmosphere, so much so that Chippa’s Philani Dlamini became the first player added to the referee’s book for a late challenge.
Thanda’s hearts were broken once more due to some sloppy defending. A shocking clearance fell to the substitute Mfundo Shumana at the edge of the box and unlike his opposite number before him he made no error and half-volleyed it into the net, 56 minutes in.
Fifteen minutes from time Tashrique Goldman was booked for time wasting while Itshegetseng Lehumo took the place of Sthembiso Dlamini.
Goldman needed the aid of his defenders to save his blushes with eight minutes remaining, as they cleared a scrambled ball of his.
But there was no going back for the hosts as the Capetonians’ lead was tripled when Buyani Sali received the ball on the edge of the backline. His acceleration saw him break free on goal; making no error in converting his effort when one-on-one with Khuzwuayo in the 89th minute.
The loss means that Thanda will spend at least another year in the National First Division, while Chippa top of the table ahead of their final match against Santos.
Thanda Royal Zulu 0 Chippa United (1) 3 (Mbenyane 7’, Shumana 56’, Sali 89’)
Thanda: Khuzwuayo, Mvalo, Thopola, Nwadike (Ngwenya 62’), Mthombeni, Ogle (Wadabwa 68’), Sitayitayi, Made, Mthiyane, Manyoni, Dlamini (Lehumo 76’).
Chippa: Goldman, Pietersen, Kubheka, Ntombayithethi, Matomane, Dlamini ( Shumana 53’), Sithole, Mbenyane (Rhode 80’), Ngebo, Sali, Ntshingila.