Thanda and Chippa draw in Athlone
Chippa United picked up their first point of the promotion play-offs when they drew 1-1 with Thanda Royal Zulu at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The KZN side made a good start to the game, playing with an intensity that ensured a constant supply of ball and kept Chippa pegged back in their own half.
The first chance came on 10 minutes when Nkosinathi Nthiyane dispossessed Chippa right back Maxwell Khubeka of the ball, but he sent an angled shot across the goal, missing the far post.
The next chance took a while to arrive, falling the way of Peter Nwadike in the 24th minute, but he shot straight at Abduraghmaan White after having been teed up by former Black Aces winger Lehumu Itshegetseng.
A minute later and Nwadike did well to create space, turn and shoot, but his effort was well saved by White.
The Chilli Boys had a half chance on the half hour mark when Robin Rhode tried a clever flick from a cross, but he was of target by a couple of yards.
Rhode turned provider in the 38th minute, playing through Petrus Ngebo with a neat through ball, but from 20-yards Ngebo hurried his shot and skied the ball into the stands.
It was at the other end though that the best chance of the half arrived when Nthiyane crossed to an unmarked Joseph Mthombeni, but the former Sundowns man got his technique all wrong and sent a header well wide.
It took just two minutes after the break for the deadlock to be broken as Mthombeni played Nwadike in on goal, who did well to slot in a 16-yard shot low in to the bottom corner.
But the lead was only to last seven minutes as Ngebo scorched home a header from William Twala’s corner kick.
Ngebo had another great chance seven minutes later when he was picked out by Philani Dlamini, but this time the header was way off target.
Action continued to flow from end to end as Mthiyane fired straight at White and then Ngebo squandered a fantastic chance when he shot over the bar from only 12 yards out after being teed up by Mxolosi Ntshingila.
It was then Dlamini’s turn to miss as he ballooned a volley over the bar, by this stage of the game the majority of the game being played in the Thanda half.
With two minutes to go Ngebo missed a real sitter when he flashed a header wide from Ntshingila’s inviting cross, Chippa in the end unable to turn their late pressure into goals.