Eva Nga inspires Chippa to win over Maritzburg

Bienvenu Eva Nga scored a brace of goals to inspire Chippa United to a 2-0 away win over Maritzburg United in a DStv Premiership clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday evening.

The result sees the Chilli Boys rise out of the relegation playoff zone to 13th and join the 12th-placed Team of Choice on 15 points. TS Galaxy, Swallows FC (both 13 points) and Baroka FC (10 points) are the other clubs currently embroiled in the relegation battle.

Maritzburg were the dominant force in terms of possession and territory through the first half, though they struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Perhaps their best arrived just after the half-hour mark when a knock-down in the Chippa penalty area allowed Zukile Kewuti to turn and strike a volleyed shot, but the effort flashed wide of the target and did not test out Chippa goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali.

Chippa then claimed the lead somewhat against the run of play in the 34th minute, with Bienvenu Eva Nga scoring for the fifth match in succession. A long ball was flicked on by Thokozani Sekotlong, and Eva Nga proceeded to brush aside Phumlani Ntshangase before coolly stroking a shot past goalkeeper Brylon Petersen for 1-0.

Maritzburg, a goal down at the break, opted for a double change at the start of the second half, introducing Rowan Human and Lungelo Bhengu off the bench.

Yet it was Chippa who continued to look more dangerous in attack, with Eva Nga almost claiming a second on 52 minutes with a solo effort that saw him stab a shot over the target after a swift counterattack.

The Chilli Boys striker was presented with a similar chance midway through the second half, running onto a long ball out of defence from Riaan Hanamub – this time his finish was clinical, toe-poking past Petersen on the run to make it 2-0 in the 67th minute.

Eva Nga could have completed a hat-trick seven minutes later, with Patrick Mokhele doing great work down the left flank before a pull-back from the by-line, but Chippa’s number nine snapped a left-footed shot wide of the near post.

Maritzburg upped their intensity in the final 15 minutes and did manage to force some scrambling defensive moments from Chippa, but Mtshali remained pretty well protected and the Eastern Cape side were ultimately able to walk away with a deserved 2-0 victory.

The teams will have their final DStv Premiership matches of the year on Wednesday 22 December, with Maritzburg away to Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa at home to Sekhukhune United.

Maritzburg United 0
Chippa United (1) 2 (Eva Nga 34’ 67’)

Maritzburg: Petersen, Theron (Bhengu 46’), Ndengane, Ntshangase, Ritchie, Skelem (Cele 83’), Graham, Kewuti, Claasen (Human 46’), B. Hlongwane, Soukouna

Chippa: Mtshali, Zulu, Mthethwa, Pietersen, Hanamub, Mdlinzo (September 87’), Mkhize, Mokhele, Lebitso, Sekotlong (Sangare 65’), Eva Nga (Mini 89’).