Chippa United 1-1 Mamelodi Sundowns: Chilli Boys strike late

Lebohang Maboe scored early for Mamelodi Sundowns but Meshack Maphangule struck in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw for Chippa United on Wednesday night. 

Sundowns travelled to the Eastern Cape looking for another three points in the league.

The Tshwane giants were also looking to bounce back as they returned from a Caf Champions League outing in the Republic of Congo where they took on Otoho d’Oyo and tasted a narrow 2-1 away defeat.

However, they were confident as they recently opened their PSL account with a Tshwane Derby win over SuperSport United, but injuries forced Mosimane to make several changes.

Most notably, Motjeka Madisha was brought in at centre-back to partner Mosa Lebusa with Wayne Arendse missing the game through injury.

In addition, recent signing Sammy Seabi was given his debut and he was a standout performer in the heart of midfield alongside Hlompho Kekana with Chippa’s Rhulani Manzini, who came in for Lerato Manzini following their draw with Stellenbosch and Kurt Lentjies eager to attack through the middle.

Chippa certainly kept Sundowns’ midfield busy especially in the early stages and also looked to exploit the right-hand flank.

Another debutant Gregory Damons also looked promising for Chippa as he linked up with Thabo Rakhale, but they were unable to come up with anything which truly troubled Sundowns No.1 Denis Onyango within the first 30 minutes of the game.

Meanwhile, Sundowns introduced Gaston Sirino from the start for the first time this season, but he looked slightly off the pace, perhaps due to his recent injury.

Nonetheless, with the half-time whistle looming, Sundowns came into the match.

First, a long-range effort from Sibusiso Vilakazi flew narrowly wide of Patrick Tignyemb’s goal before a goalmouth scramble saw Lebohang Maboe fail to get a decisive shot on goal.

But Maboe eventually found his name on the scoresheet just before the break, as a swift attack saw him strike with a clinical finish.

The goal immediately saw Sundowns move into the driver’s seat and the half-time whistle could not have come soon enough for the home team as Sundowns looked to up the ante.

With the resumption for the second half, the Sundowns coach was the first to pull the trigger and he removed Sirino and brought on Keletso Makgalwa.

Mosimane was hopeful the introduction of the attacker would add some more energy upfront.

Makgalwa was almost immediately in the thick of things as he delivered an inswinging corner that was guided towards goal by Themba Zwane and had the Chippa defence in sixes and sevens. But Chippa were able to clear their lines.

While Sundowns look comfortable, Chippa’s threat from set-pieces remained, and Sundowns were given a real warning when Fredric Nsabiyumva used his aerial prowess to lay the ball off for Manzini, who with his last touch before being substituted forced Onyango into a wonderful save which kept Sundowns ahead.

With the game reaching the hour mark, the match was turning into an end-to-end affair with both sides looking to move onto the attack.

Vilakazi was bewildered when a delightful diagonal pass saw him in front of goal with the keeper to beat, only for him to send his effort well over the bar.

Although Sundowns were in a comfortable position, an injury to Seabi became a concern.

The midfielder enjoyed an impressive debut but saw his maiden outing cut short and he was replaced by Tiyani Mabunda for the remainder of the game.

The change might have been enforced but it also brought with it a slight change in approach as Mabunda was a lot more defensive-minded and this allowed Thapelo Morena to be deployed upfront.

The change almost worked wonders when Morena found the ball at his feet inside the box but his shot was acrobatically kept out by Tignyemb, who was keeping his side in the game.

Tignyemb’s effort was a valiant attempt and with the match’s final whistle looming, Chippa threw everything at Sundowns and were finally rewarded.

Maphangule found the ball at his feet following a bit of table tennis in the box and fired his shot at goal which was deflected past Onyango by Madisha.

The goal came as a shock to Sundowns, while Chippa were delighted to rescue the game.

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