Zitha Macheke of Chippa United challenged by Hendrick Ekstein of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on 07 April 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Saturday Apr 07, 2018. 17:17
Kaizer Chiefs’ Absa Premiership title hopes were all but snuffed out on Saturday at FNB Stadium as they suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Chippa United.
The Amakhosi remain in third on the log and still mathematically in contention, but realistically their hopes of claiming the championship ahead of the leading duo of Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates are well and truly gone.
As for the Chilli Boys, the surprise win in Soweto lifts them to seventh on the log and gives a major boost to their hopes of a top-half finish.
Chippa goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi got away with a blunder as early as the third minute, as he fumbled a right-wing cross straight to Leonardo Castro, but the striker wasn’t able to get a shot away quickly enough to punish the Nigerian.
Chiefs were soon dealt an injury blow when right wingback Ramahlwe Mphahlele limped off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury – he was replaced by Bhongolwethu Jayiya in the 14th minute.
Just over ten minutes later Chippa claimed a surprise lead: Abel Mabaso’s pass put Thabo Rakhale in space and the winger first outpaced Erick Mathoho before sliding a low shot past Itumeleng Khune’s right hand to make it 1-0.
The Amakhosi nearly levelled the game just before the interval, as a Siphiwe Tshabalala cross was flicked on by Castro to find Ryan Moon, but the forward was denied by a brave save at his feet from Akpeyi.
Chiefs struggled to create scoring chances in the second half, but on 75 minutes they should have equalised, as a superb right-wing cross from Hendrick Ekstein picked out substitute forward Dumisani Zuma, but he put his glancing header wide of the far post.
Three minutes later the hosts were punished, with Linda Mntambo playing a great pass to put Mxolisi Machupu in on goal, and although his initial chip was half-saved by Khune, he was able to follow up and put the ball into an empty net to make it 2-0 to the Chilli Boys.
Things got even worse for the Soweto giants, as they finished the game with 10 men after Mathoho left the pitch with an injury after all three substitutions had been used up, while Zuma missed out on another good chance when he was denied by Akpeyi in the 87th minute.
Deep in injury time, Edward Manqele had a tap-in to make it 3-0 and add further salt into the wounds for Chiefs.
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Chippa United (1) 3 (Rakhale 25’, Machupu 78’, Manqele 90+7’)
Chiefs: Khune, Mphahlele (Jayiya 14’ [Zuma 62’]), Cardoso, Mathoho, Hadebe (Parker 46’), Zulu, Ekstein, Katsande, Tshabalala, Moon, Castro
Chippa: Akpeyi, Macheke, Nsabiyumva, Okwuosa, Mako, Mayambela (Mbokoma 86’), Mabaso, Sali (Mbenyane 81’), Rakhale, Mntmabo, Machupu (Manqele 88’)