Wits, Chippa play out stalemate

Bidvest Wits and Chippa United both failed to find the spark of inspiration as they played out a goalless stalemate in their Absa Premiership clash at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday night.

The draw sees the Clever Boys placed sixth on 35 points from 20 matches, while the Chilli Boys are 11th on 26 points from 24 matches. New coach Rhulani Mokwena will consider the result a positive one for his first game in charge of the Eastern Cape side.

Chippa had the first chance of the match, with Ruzaigh Gamildien shooting on target from long range in the 12th minute, but Wits goalkeeper Brandon Peterson was equal to the task.

The home side then spurned a fine opportunity five minutes later when they got in behind the Chippa defence, as confusion between Mxolisi Machupu and Phatutshedzo Nange meant they failed to test Veli Mothwa between the sticks.

Just before the half-hour mark Clever Boys shot-stopper Peterson had a nervy moment when he gave the ball away to Gamildien in a dangerous position, but the ‘keeper recovered well to save and spare his own blushes.

The last big chance of the half went the way of Wits, with Elias Pelembe shooting wide from close range in the 42nd minute after a Deon Hotto cross was dropped at his feet by Mothwa. The sides were locked 0-0 at the interval.

Early chances in the second half saw Buhle Mkhwanazi deflect Deon Hotto’s free kick just off target, while Peterson continued to be a busy man as he turned away a stinging shot from William Twala.

The Clever Boys made a change in attack on the hour mark, with coach Gavin Hunt throwing on Bienvenu Eva Nga in place of Machupu, and seven minutes later the striker played a hand in the build-up to Pelembe heading just wide from a Zitha Macheke cross.

Kgaogelo Sekgota also helped to liven up Wits’ forward play when he was introduced with 20 minutes to play, bringing speed and energy to stretch the Chilli Boys’ defence. Yet the visitors remained resolute at the back and were able to frustrate the Johannesburg side.

The teams ultimately settled for a goalless stalemate and a share of the spoils, with neither quite able to do enough to claim all three points on offer. Chippa ended the game with 10 men following a second bookable offence for Gerald Modisane, but it came too late for the Clever Boys to be able to take advantage.

Wits will return to Premiership action in midweek, as they face Black Leopards at home in a catch-up game on Tuesday 10 March, while Chippa will wait until Friday 20 March for their next match, which is at home to Cape Town City.

Bidvest Wits 0

Chippa United 0

Bidvest Wits: Peterson, Macheke, Gordinho, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Pelembe, Nange (Domingo 82’), Alexander, Hotto, Dzvukamanja (Sekgota 70’), Machupu (Eva Nga 59’)

Chippa United:Mothwa, Modisane, Nsabiyumva, K. Moyo, Maphanga (Rakhale 32’), Twala, Komane, Malepe, Sekotlong (Damons 78’), Maholo (Masalesa 64’), Gamildien