Chippa edge Polokwane on penalties

Chippa United edged Polokwane City on penalties in the final Nedbank Cup Last 32 match, played at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The second-tier Rise and Shine held the Chilli Boys 1-1 over 120 minutes – and had the better chances to win the match outright through both regulation and extra time – but ultimately the DStv Premiership club held their nerve in the shootout to emerge 3-1 victors and advance into the second round proper.

Polokwane got off to the perfect start, claiming the lead as early as the third minute. Chippa’s Meshack Maphangule played a poor back-pass from midfield which allowed Francis Baloyi to run in on goal and beat Stanley Nwabali one-one-one to make it 1-0.

However, Chippa struck back in the 12th minute to level the game at 1-1, with Thabiso Lebitso’s surging run from the right flank ending with an attempted low cross which deflected off defender Bulelani Nikani and found the back of the net.

City should have reclaimed the lead on the half-hour mark when Khomotjo Lekoloane’s cross from the right gifted Mokibelo Ramabu a great chance, but he scooped a shot over the target from close range with the goal virtually unguarded.

The next chance went the way of Chippa in the 40th minute, as Etiosa Ighodaro met a fine cross from the right flank by Lebitso and directed a header on target, but Polokwane goalkeeper Manuel Sapunga made a sharp save to ensure the half ended level at one goal apiece.

Polokwane, much as in the first half, found their rhythm quicker after the restart and nearly scored a second when Baloyi was teed up by Puleng Marema in the 52nd minute, but Nwabali was equal to the attacker’s shot this time around.

Marema and Baloyi continued to threaten Chippa’s goal, but Rise and Shine’s finishing generally left much to be desired. Marema, though, almost broke the deadlock on 83 minutes with a fine effort direct from a free kick, but Nwabali made an excellent save to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Regulation time closed with the teams still level at 1-1, and extra time was a pedestrian affair until the 110th minute when City carded out a chance for Marema, but Nwabali pulled off another fine save.

On 116 minutes, Chippa finally created another scoring chance when substitute Elmo Kambindu got on the end of a right-flank cross and powered a diving header on target, but Sapunga dived to his left to palm the ball away and ensure the game went to spot kicks.

The Chilli Boys duly triumphed in the shootout, with veteran Andile Mbenyane scoring the decisive kick to seal a 3-1 victory and see them through to the next round.

Polokwane will return to Motsepe Foundation Championship action with a derby against Black Leopards on Sunday 19 February, while Chippa’s next DStv Premiership match is at home to Swallows FC on 26 February.

Polokwane City (1) (1) 1 (Baloyi 3’)

Chippa United (1) (1) 1 (Lebitso/Nikani og 12’)

After extra time, Chippa won 3-1 on penalties

Polokwane: Sapunga, Matuludi, Ndlovu, Nkaki (Buthelezi 76’), Nikani, Ramabu (Goovadia 114’), F. Baloyi (Mokate 114’), Maphangule, Nana (Mhlongo 76’), Marema, Lekoloane (L. Baloyi 91’)

Chippa: Nwabali, Mdunyelwa, Mathiane, Banda, Ntsabo, Lebitso, Mkhize, Konqobe (Luthuli 77’), Maarman (Mbenyane 91’), Maphangule (Kammies 46’), Ighodaro (Kambindu 91’)