Determined Chippa hold off Downs

2012-12-19 22:18

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Chippa United held on in the face of relentless second-half pressure from Mamelodi Sundowns to record a 1-1 Premiership draw at Athlone Stadium.

The Pretoria side enjoyed the better of the first-half exchanges but went into the break a goal down as Welcome Qalanto gave the Chilli Boys the lead on the half-hour mark.

Early play saw the visiting team enjoying most of the ball, with Chippa happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.

There were decent early chances for the Brazilians as Themba Zwane sent an angled drive just over the bar, while Esrom Nyandoro’s free-kick rocketed just past the upright from all of 30 metres out.

At the other end of the park there was a good chance for the Cape side when William Twala burst through on goal, but Wayne Sandilands moved quickly to make a brave block.

Downs were again close to scoring midway through the first half when Nyasha Mushekwi headed goalwards, only to see his header beating keeper Daouda Kassaly but being blocked by Larry Cohen.

It was the Chilli Boys, however, who went in front via a set-piece as Qalanto did well to rise above the defence and nod home from Tshepo Tomanyane’s free-kick.

The balance of the first period saw Sundowns pressing the home defence, but despite some careless moments from Chippa, they held on for the half-time lead.

The Brazilians continued to dominhate after the break and they had the first chance when the ball fell to Elias Pelembe in the box, but he scuffed his angled drive just wide.

As the second half reached the midway point, the pressure from the Tshwane side became relentless as Teko Modise rattled the bar with a thunderous shot from 20 metres before Katlego Mphela saw his free-kick deflected just over goal.

From the resultant corner, Sundowns drew level as Wayne Arendse headed home from a corner kick after 68 minutes.

The visitors continued to apply pressure on the Chippa defence for the remainder of the game.

There were a succession of late chances for Pitso Mosimane’s side, with the best seeing Nyandoro smashing a shot centimetres over the bar.

There was also some desperate defending from the Cape side as they held on to take the point, despite Modise’s best efforts as he rifled a left-footed shot just wide in tinjury time.

Sundowns go into the break in 10th position, while Chippa are left second from bottom.

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